Friday, December 02, 2005

Is Lululemon a secret chick Illuminati Group?

I sure hope so, let's give 'em a crack at running the world...

I was in a Starbucks with a buddy the other day, and as we approached the coffee accoutrements, I noticed a young lady wearing a Lululemon hoodie with the now ubiquitous logo prominently displayed.

Having recently been introduced to the mystical powers of Lululemon by a female friend who swears by their mystical powers, I asked her point-blank in a gentle and humorous way:

"Lululemon, right? Tell me - is that a secret chick Illuminati Group?" :)

She said she didn't know, but she did say:

"I don't know what it is, but those Lululemon pants make your ass look amazing! No - seriously! I don't know if it's the fabric or what, or the cut, or something... whatever! You just won't believe how great they make your ass look! No - seriously! They make your ass look freakin' amazing! No - seriously!!!"

She went on like this for another minute or so, completely dominating the interaction with tales of an amazing ass magically guaranteed. I didn't find her particularily attractive, and would objectively say she was an average looking young lady with an average build, but the confidence in proclaiming the sheer-beauty of her Lululemon-ass to two complete male strangers was awe-inspiringly hypnotic. I was in love with her being in love with Lululemon for a brief moment, and really, really, really wanted to see her beautiful ass in a pair of Lululemon pants.

(Not to mention grab a pair of my own.)

She was enraptured in a reverential reverie, basically ignoring the animated interjecting entreaties that are part and parcel of strong-willed conversationalist that I am. Instead, she publicly-privately reminisced about her deeply-felt dreams of a dreamy-ass in Lululemon pants, focused on-message in a way that brought to mind the strongest "believers" in the world. She then wistfully wandered off into the afternoon as we watched her leave, oblivious to leaving the conversation - and in fact, oblivious to the fact that a conversation may have taken place. As she mumbled to herself the glory of Lululemon and it's magical awesome-ass making properties, we knew we were in the presence of supreme self-actualization...

Best of luck ladies, and may the force be with you...


BONUS: And may you keep it...

The Globe and Mail


U.S. fund may try Lululemon's equity on for size

Private firm courting hot West Coast yoga gear retailer, industry source says

Thursday, November 17, 2005 Page B5Key
RETAILING REPORTER; With a file from columnist Mary Lynn Young

Hip retailer Lululemon Athletica, the Vancouver-based athletic wear phenomenon, is in talks about being sold -- possibly to a private U.S. equity firm.

An industry source said owner Chip Wilson is in discussions with a U.S. investment firm about selling majority ownership -- just over 50 per cent -- of Lululemon to the company, which would help finance a major global expansion.

The deal would allow Mr. Wilson, the visionary behind the yoga-inspired retailer, to keep a minority stake in the business and continue to operate it, the source said.

"There's an equity play on with a non-retailer based in the States," said the source who is familiar with the company.

"It's far enough along that, if all goes well, it will happen."

Mr. Wilson confirmed yesterday that he is in talks, but would not say with whom.

"I'm talking to people, but it's still way too far down the line to say anything is confirmed or not," he said in a telephone interview.

The chain has been poised to expand, but has been held back because of limited funds. Retail industry players have speculated about a sale of Lululemon over the past few years to help raise money.

Rumours surfaced in the summer that giant U.S.-based clothier Gap Inc. was about to buy Lululemon, which has become known for its stylized "A" logo. But Mr. Wilson said in late August that there was nothing happening.

There has also been talk that athletic titan Nike and Toronto-based Roots Canada have been interested in acquiring Lululemon.

Mr. Wilson acknowledged that rumours have constantly swirled about a potential sale.

"Lots of people are interested and I listen, but I don't necessarily do anything," Mr. Wilson said, adding that the huge interest is testament to the firm's strength. "That's what investment brokers are all about."

He launched Lululemon in 1998 after enrolling in yoga classes and envisaging the growing need for stretchy yoga attire. It now runs about 30 stores, with five more set to open this month. The current outlets, which generate more than $44-million of annual business, include six in the United States, one in Japan and one in Australia.

Mr. Wilson has said that he foresees as many as 200 stores eventually. In the coming year, nevertheless, his expansion will be "modest" because the company must spend its money to improve its logistics and other information technology, he said yesterday.

The source said Mr. Wilson is feeling pressure to get more money to help fund the expansion.

He also may want to stay with the company, rather than sell it outright, because he still has plans for it. For example, he recently launched organic-fibre clothing and is committed to encouraging eco-friendly fashions.

A growing number of retailers are being purchased by private equity firms such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Bain Capital LLC.

Retail consultant Albert Plant said Lululemon may still have legs, even when the yoga craze dies down. The clothing is popular for uses beyond yoga, including simply casual wear.

He said Mr. Wilson may be wise to team up with a private equity firm rather than a public company because the former will likely be a patient investor ready to pour money into the retailer for long-term returns.



BONUS: We still have pockets...

Maureen Dowd on LATE SHOW with David Letterman (11/30/05)


[Ed note: I freakin' love her...]

BONUS: Take us to Our Leader...


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