Lululemon to shutter Ivivva brand by mid-2020
Lululemon is shuttering its Ivivva brand, including its seven remaining store locations, a company spokesperson confirmed to Retail Dive Thursday. CNBC first reported the news Wednesday night.
"We're excited and energized to be delivering on our Power of Three growth plan. To support this, we've made the decision to close what remains of the ivivva business in order to unlock capacity to support our long-term growth," Executive Vice President of the Americas and Global Guest Innovation Celeste Burgoyne said in emailed comments to Retail Dive. "We have forged strong relationships with an engaged community of active girls and we look forward to connecting with them through the lululemon brand."
In 2017, the retailer announced it would close 40 of its 55 Ivivva-branded stores, convert half of the remaining 15 to Lululemon stores and keep the other Ivivva locations open.
Lululemon's decision to shut down its kids brand comes after the retailer had already significantly pulled back on its efforts, moving its operation mostly online a few years ago. Now, Ivivva's online and physical presence will both be shuttering by mid-2020.
Burgoyne's statement on the decision implies that Lululemon is not entirely done with girls as a category, but a spokesperson did not immediately respond to Retail Dive's request for details on whether the retailer would sell a girls' line through its namesake brand.
Rival Athleta also has a girls line, which launched in 2016, called "Athleta Girl." The expansion of both of the athleisure retailers to men's and kids categories has previously been seen as an indicator of solid growth for the brands.
"It's just another natural extension," Susan Anderson, managing director and senior equity research analyst with B. Riley FBR told Retail Dive earlier this year about the movement into the girls' space. At the time, she noted that Lululemon was taking Ivivva and "branding it under the Lululemon brand, which probably makes a little bit more sense."
This move also seems to indicate that Lululemon is focusing on its strategy to double its men's and digital businesses by 2023. At the time of that announcement in April, the retailer also pointed to ambitions to quadruple its international revenue in the next five years.
Recent earnings reports suggest the retailer's plan is going well, with women's same-store sales up 13% and men's comps growing 27%. While the Ivivva brand may be shuttering its doors, the retailer has its eyes on more physical space for Lululemon, including through two "key store openings" in November.