Since it launched in 1998, lululemon has always been about transformation and innovation.
At lulu fashion and function came together for the first time. Our technical fabrics and innovative designs drove a new look that transformed workout gear into stylish streetwear.
That innovation kick-started the “streetnic” (athleisure) market, a clothing category that has since grown to about $100 billion a year in annual
Lululemon was also the first to capture the spirit of the West Coast, where it’s ski, swim, board, bike, kitesurfing and work – all in one day. In 2011, lululemon needed to push for a new context for existing. This was reflected in our approach to design, culture, and shared values. Lululemon was superior because it continued to morph out of being a commodity company.
I the company’s single largest shareholder – and it’s biggest fan. My ongoing financial stake in lulu reflects a deep belief in the company’s potential to achieve great things on a number of fronts.
Recently, lululemon has taken a number of important steps toward future success. It brought a strong men’s line to market. It has used the latest technology to improve customer service and online shopping. It has expanded internationally. It has launched some great new stores.
I love what lululemon is doing to improve itself and its financial performance.
But just like the people who buy our clothing, it needs to keep pushing to the next level. It is important to remember that lululemon’s very foundation comes from the West Coast spirit, this inspiration was built into lululemon from the very beginning.
Elevatelululemon.com is a place where I share my observations on all things to do with the company. As the founder and largest individual shareholder, I continue to take a huge interest in how and what lululemon is doing.
My input comes from a good place. A place where transformation and innovation inspire lululemon employees and all the fabulous people who wear what they do. We are asking not for incremental change but for greatness.
Open Letter to lululemon Shareholders
In the past, I have been openly critical of the management and Board of lululemon.
As lulu’s founder, largest individual shareholder and greatest fan, my concern was focused on lulu’s plan to sustain long-term performance and create shareholder value.
This was never about picking a fight with lulu management. My remarks came from a constructive – if somewhat frustrated – place and were focused on several objectives.
Above all else, I wanted assurance that management saw the same tremendous potential in lulu that I do. I also wanted to know what the plan was to capitalize on that opportunity and build value through long-term growth.
All shareholders now have that insight. We know the targets and the indicators we should be looking for as the company moves forward.
My second objective was to promote a standard of corporate governance that would provide lulu with the strong foundation and guidance to sustain its growth plan in a rapidly-changing market.
Both of these goals also have a proven, positive impact on the share value of all publicly traded companies – something that’s been demonstrated by lulu’s recent share price performance.
Since I spoke out, lulu management has been engaged, responsive and forthcoming. They have shared their strategy and I have seen the impressive new product lines and been in some of the new international locations. All very impressive.
These initiatives, along with strong innovation, must be coupled with excellent and relentless execution. I’m anxious to see lulu management follow through on these actions. As well, I’m looking for adherence to the core values that have differentiated and strengthened the company over 20 years.
One way to reinforce lulu’s values is to revive the West Coast influence that inspired and framed the company from its inception. Appointing a Vancouver-based director would be a positive step in that context.
Lulu has always been a brand and a company of limitless potential. It is more than able to withstand the high expectations that will continue to drive it toward excellence and success.