Anti-Ball Crushing Pants Help Lululemon’s Men’s Business

by Harry Sheff

Lululemon ABCLululemon, the Vancouver-based athletic wear retailer best known for its women’s yoga business, is starting to see real growth in the menswear category. It’s up 16% in the fourth-quarter, and CEO Laurent Potdevin is crediting the new ABC, or “Anti-Ball Crushing” pant.

“With men’s, we saw continued success with our pant category anchored by the popularity of our core ABC pant and a great guest response to technical tops such as Rulu fabrics and seamless construction,” he said in a conference call with analysts.

The ABC pant, currently sold out online in all sizes and colors, normally retails for $128. It’s designed to fit slim but stretch and, as the website says, give “you and the family jewels room to breathe.” It’s made from a technical fabric called Warpstreme, which has four-way stretch and wind and water resistance. Part of the ABC’s success may be due to its versatility—the five-pocket design doesn’t look like a workout pant.

Lululemon’s campaign to reach the men’s market is just beginning. The company, which has had a tiny men’s business—about 15% to total—announced a men’s-only shop in SoHo late last year.

The company’s fourth-quarter sales were up 16% to $602.5 million and total comparable sales were up 8%.