The major difference between Lulus and Lululemon is that one sells clothes and accessories to both men and women while the other sells to only women.
Lululemon offers a colorful and varying array of clothes to men and women, including sports shoes and exercise accessories. Lulus, on the other hand, caters to women’s dresses, shoes, sneakers, and slides.
If you have ever wondered if these two brands are the same, you are not alone. In this article, I’m going to do a review of the two brands.
I will do a comparison of select products showing differences and similarities. In the end, you will be able to choose the brand that speaks to your taste.
Lulus: A Brief History
The Lulus brand was founded by Debra Cannon and her daughter Collin Winter in 1996. The brand sells both theirs and other brands clothes, from bohemian dresses to outré gowns.
Their customer base includes girls in their 20s and young women in general. Lulus describes their clothes as fashionable and affordable.
You can purchase an Aubrie White Rhinestone Platform Sneaker for $39 or a Relaxed But Not Least Sage Green Ribbed Sleeveless Maxi Dress for $38.40 from their online store.
More than half of what is on the online store is Lulus branded clothes. You can purchase their brands from them or Nordstrom.
If you are an avid social media user you’d have come across their Instagram page.
Most of their customers are young people whom they are able to relate with through this means.
They have a following of more than 1 million on Instagram. The brand refuses to announce itself from the rooftops.
They rather value the loyal customers they have who in turn convert new adherents.
The brand values an undercurrent but steady flow of profitability which is why you don’t find their shops everywhere, not even on Amazon where I have made an exhaustive check.
Lululemon: A Short History
This brand has a more storied beginning. Chip Wilson founded a retail apparel company in 1979 called Westbeach Snowboard Ltd which targeted surf, skate, and the snowboard market.
In 1997 he sold the company and founded a second one called Lululemon Athletica Inc in1998. The company retailed yoga pants and related wears, athletic wear, lifestyle apparel, accessories, and personal care products.
The company sells online and through 574 physical stores in many countries.
In 2019 Lululemon added a mirror that interacts with users to their fitness collection. They also sell personal care products such as deodorants and dry shampoo.
In 2005 the brand trademarked its own fabric called Luon. The fabric features nylon microfiber in its composition.
The brand also has a research laboratory located at its headquarters which employs 50 people, including scientists and physiologists.
The lad is called Whitespace. The brand features more women’s accessories than men’s but plans to broaden in the other direction in coming years.
Comparison between Lulus and Lululemon
The two brands bear almost similar names which may cause you to think they are one and the same.
This comparison will help you differentiate the brand and what they sell. The differences are in the following areas:
- Different target markets
- One focuses more on athletic wears
- One focuses on women more
- Retailing strategy
- Targeting men
Different target markets
Lulus targets young women of 20 and teenagers. You can also tell who their targets are when you consider that Lulus strategy is based on social media. Young people use social media more, they value and follow trends more.
Their clothes are chic, almost eclectic, and appeal to young hearts. They are unconventional in their approach to fashion which catches the fancy of young people who want to stay on-trend and stay timeless.
Lululemon is a very different brand. Its fan base is sporty women, and men, who are enthusiastic about physical fitness.
This brand serves athletes and yoga practitioners. Lululemon targets people of all ages, not just women in their 20s.
They make slim-fit pants for men too. A quick check and you’ll find men’s outfits like the Men’s Pace Breaker Short.
Lululemon focuses on athletic wear more
Lululemon sells athletic wear like yoga pants, tops, shorts, sweaters, and jackets. Add undergarments into the mix and you could shop for everything you need from Lululemon.
Lulus focuses on evening dresses, gowns, blouses, and general outdoor clothes for women. Lulus sells sneakers too by the way. I found these Gola Tennis Mark Cox Off White High Top sneakers below.
Lulus focuses on women more
And that brand is Lulus. It was this brand’s aim since 2013 to empower women in all aspects of life. They even have a special section in their online shop for wedding apparels.
Lululemon was originally known for retailing yoga pants to women but by 2019, they were also selling to the male market by adapting their sales and marketing strategies to appeal to men.
Lulus prices are more affordable than Lululemon. You can actually get a dress for as low as $30 from Lulus.
Most Lululemon apparel is about the $100 range. This price has nothing to do with the quality of the products.
They have more to do with the strategy and mission of the brands. Lulus targets women, seeking to lift them. Most of these women are young hence the pricing.
Whereas Lululemon targets a different demographic most of whom likely earn enough to purchase mid to high-end apparel.
Both companies are also different in marketing strategies. Lulus marketing plan is an online-only strategy, no physical boutiques, and stores.
This means they pay no extra cost on rent and shop assistants. This is perhaps one of the reasons that their clothes are so affordable. Lulus is an affordable luxury.
The cost of luxury has been staved off by the strategy they employ. They sell their own private label clothing as well as other brands they partner with.
Among these other partners are Free People and Steve Madden. These are normally affordable products, but they are even more so when you purchase them from Lulus.
Lululemon uses a different marketing strategy. First, the brand targeted woken who loved to work, were stressed, and would also love to balance work and exercise.
This was what informed going about selling yoga pants. Lululemon used popup stores with a limited selection of products, and a smaller outlet to introduce the brand to people in selected areas.
They collaborated with sports ambassadors, local yoga and fitness coaches who wear Lululemon high-quality clothes. These professionals then teach people yoga in those stores for free.
This innovative strategy has helped to draw attention to the brand, especially on social media where the pictures like the one above are posted.
Another area of divergence between these two brands is apparel for men. Lulus has not targeted men with their brands, just women in their early twenties and this has been their thing for a long time. If this strategy will change, time will tell.
Lululemon on the other hand started targeting men in 2016 when they introduced their first men’s apparel collection. In 2020, the brand reported that 30% of those who patronized the brand were men.
The CEO says he feels that the brand could grow to become a dual-gender brand in the future.
At first, it was difficult for the brand to get men to appreciate the products since they were already popular for selling yoga pants and catering to women.
In 2018 Lululemon collaborated with menswear hub, Mr. Porter. Together they would produce an exclusive athletic collection for men. The aim is to gain more awareness among men while selling through Mr. Porter.
The similarities between the brands
Both brands obviously share similarities in name. But there’s more:
- Priority on women
- Price range
Priority on women
The two brands continue to make clothes for women, prioritizing them in their collections. Although Lululemon branched out into men’s wear, they still have a lot of ways to go in that aspect.
It doesn’t look like Lulus will ever change its strategy since it is its core mission from the outset.
It could be said that in the final analysis, both brands are affordable. Lulus offers great, quality products at prices that many would consider ridiculously cheap.
The clothes are beautiful and trendy and we are sure if those clothes appeared in physical stores with big names, they’d cost a lot more.
The same can be said of Lululemon clothes too, a brand that offers really nice pants for a song.
Which brand is better?
Lulus is a better brand because I feel every woman needs a brand that caters especially to them. It is a brand with a mission to empower young women in their prime.
Of course, this takes nothing away from women who are concerned about their health and would love to remain fit.
Women can rely on Lululemon for their yoga pants and get adequate exercise. But looking good in great affordable clothes without sacrificing style should be every young woman’s dream.
Brands that narrow down on niches are some of the best around. Lulus and Lululemon are these brands.
They have gone a different way in business, and not following the crowd is a brave thing to do in an industry that has big brands already making the kill.
You should try out either of these brands today. Let me know in the comment section what you think of their clothes.