In case anyone is a super-nerd like me, you can listen to the Lulu investor call in the link below (this page). If you have a life and don’t want to waste an hour, here are the highlights for the first quarter of their FY (March, April, May)
* Comp store sales increased by 5% Website sales increased by 18%
* Gross Margin increased and exceeded expectations primarily due to improvements in supply chain logistics and reduced manufacturing costs.
* Product innovation, storytelling, and strong merchandising is a continued focus. A successful example of this was the updated “Pant Wall” and launch of “Aligns”
* Inventory was reduced due to aggressive mark-downs. (Don’t get used to the great MDs we’ve been seeing, it’s a strategic move to reduce inventory and they’ve changed their supply chain to prevent the same issues from repeating in the future)
* Lulu is making the official uniforms for all Canadian Olympic Beach Volleyball players. Expect to see similar design features in retail products.
* Swiftlys were a top performing item, bolstered primarily by the introduction of True Black.
* The Making Moves collection was a test in getting products from design to stores much quicker and was considered a huge success.
* The RFID (computer chips in the hang tags) technology is syncing with the new web platform infrastructure. Inventory accuracy at the store level is at 98% (I find this one hard to believe but am optimistic).
* The CRM program (Guest Profile) will be fully rolled out in in the fall. (No good hints on what to expect).
* There will be a Wanderlust pop-up at the 12 “Summer of Yoga” stops. (We heard rumors of this).
* The new website has been a huge success (despite our feelings about it). They have seen better conversion (people actually completing the transaction), especially on mobile.
* There will be a Shop in Shop in a “Well-known London retailer” (Harrods? Selfridges?)
* Traffic to stores has been stronger than industry average and AUR (average number of units purchased per person) has increased
* Comp store sales in Canada were higher % than comp store US sales (you Canadian ladies are making us look weak J)
* The 900 sq foot Tokyo Showroom is one of the strongest performing showrooms and validates their plans to expand in Japan.
* Hong Kong IFC produces a whopping $5,700 per square foot (By comparison, Apple holds the record with $6,050 followed by Tiffany & Co with $3,017 and US Lulu stores at $1,936)
* In the UK, King’s Road, Covent Garden and Marylebone are doing really well while Richmond and Denver(?) are underperforming.
* Physio and Cardio styles will be combined into one group
* There is an increased focus on Run – men & women
* Styles in different categories will be designed to go with each other
* More attention to detail, trim, construction, & raw material
* Almost 100% attention on “Sweat Category” (less “work wear”)
* Expect to see more “looser silhouette, the one that you can layer, and that combined with the success of bras.”
* “You will see more holistic product launches in the months to come as we deliver new styles and innovative fabrics across categories and genders”
* They purchased a parcel of land in Vancouver for “general corporate purposes”
* Zurich, Switzerland Store (currently only a Showroom) set to open in July
* 40 company operated stores are planned for 2016
o 11 will be international
o 12 will be iviva
PRICING: (I have to just copy/paste the whole quote. Interpret as you wish)
“We are daily bringing a lot of innovation. And so, we have priced to a value that we deliver to the guests. I mean, we are very confident that we got with the pricing architecture, both across categories, from a global standpoint as well, and we thought, I mean, we are like where we need to be. I mean, we see a lot of success and we see the opportunity to actually bring innovation and completely sort of really owning the high end of the market that we really have.”