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Lululemon’s Omnichannel Push Drives 35% International Sales Growth

Lululemon

The days of Lululemon’s U.S. growth may be over, but it seems that international shoppers are now springing for the North American athleisure look.

The Canada-based athletic apparel retailer shared Wednesday (June 5) in its first-quarter fiscal 2024 earnings results that while sales in the Americas only increased 3%, international sales rose 35%, driven by a 45% surge in sales in China.

“Our business remains strong in every international market in which we operate, as our brand is resonating with guests across regions and geographies,” Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald told analysts on an earnings call. “Our approach to growth follows the model we’ve implemented so successfully in North America and includes omnichannel distribution via highly productive stores and eCommerce sites.”

Clothing shoppers like to make purchases both via digital and brick-and-mortar channels, if U.S. consumers are any indication. PYMNTS Intelligence’s report “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces,” which drew from an October survey of over 3,500 U.S. consumers, found that many clothing shoppers make such purchases online. Among those who had bought clothing or accessories in the previous month, 62% did so in physical stores, and 42% used a digital marketplace. Plus, roughly 1 in 4 clothing shoppers made such purchases via a retailer’s website or app, and 20% did so through a brand’s site or app.

Additionally, worldwide, consumers are engaging across retail channels. PYMNTS Intelligence’s report “2024 Global Digital Shopping Index: The Rise of the Click-and-Mortar™ Shopper and What It Means for Merchants” drew from a survey of nearly 14,000 U.S. consumers. It found that 1 in 3 shoppers likes to engage purely via physical channels, and 29% engage just digitally. The remaining 39% seek out channels that combine the digital and physical.

In the Americas, one of the ways that Lululemon is looking to further drive omnichannel engagement is with its loyalty program.

“We are just beginning to leverage the power of our membership program, which now has approximately 20 million members in North America,” McDonald said during the call. “By offering benefits like early access to product and invitations to exclusive events, we are increasing our member base and powerfully engaging with them, which will ultimately drive both spend and long-term value.”

Events can be a strong driver of loyalty program engagement, as Nordstrom similarly noted during its earnings call Thursday (May 30).

Overall, consumers want these kinds of rewards programs. The Global Digital Shopping Index study revealed that across the international survey, 72% of respondents said they want omnichannel rewards or loyalty programs.

Consumers have higher expectations of what they’re going to get, ultimately, from loyalty programs,” Engage People Chief Technology Officer Len Covello explained in a conversation with PYMNTS earlier this year.

As Lululemon continues to navigate the complexities of a saturated North American market, its 35% international sales growth underscores a broader retail trend: the power of Click-and-Mortar™ strategies in capturing consumer loyalty and driving global expansion.

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