Lululemon CEO looks beyond yoga wear for growth

Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:05pm EDT
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* To broaden products amid success of casual wear collection

* Company still recovering from 2013 recall, supply chain problems

* Says men's line could become billion-dollar business

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, April 17 (Reuters) - Lululemon Athletica Inc , best known for its trendy yoga wear, hopes to drive growth in coming years by expanding its range of fitness-related apparel and accelerating international plans, its newly appointed chief executive said on Thursday.

Laurent Potdevin, who was recruited to revive the company's fortunes after an embarrassing recall and supply chain issues last year raised questions about growth prospects, made the comments in Vancouver at the retailer's analyst day.

He said the company's casual wear, which uses many of the fabrics and technology developed for its yoga gear, would become a key component of its growth.

Lululemon's push into other product lines comes as it faces stiffer competition in the niche market it once dominated.

The company, which eschews traditional advertising for word-of-mouth branding, recently launched a limited collection of casual fitness wear called "&Go" to test demand.   Continued...