UPDATE 1-Lululemon CEO looks beyond yoga wear for growth

Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:36pm EDT
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* Broadening products amid success of casual wear collection

* Company sees 3-4 years of expansion left in U.S. market

* Men's line could become billion-dollar business (Adds details on U.S. store growth, international market, competition)

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.

The United States, the company's largest market with just over 170 stores, continues to have room to grow, with another three to four years of expansion. So far, Lululemon has reached only two-thirds of the number of stores it can open there, Chief Financial Officer John Currie said at the retailer's analyst day in Vancouver, where the company is based.

Laurent Potdevin, chief executive, who was recruited to revive the company's fortunes after an embarrassing product recall and supply-chain issues last year raised questions about the growth outlook, highlighted Lululemon's global prospects, saying he wants to dominate the international market.

"Given the vastness of the (global) market, there are many cities in which the question is not, Will we have a store? but When will we have a store?" Potdevin said. "The global size of our playground is massive."

He added that the company would not have achieved an annual sales of $1.6 billion had it limited itself to the yoga market.   Continued...