Retail Isn’t Dead Because People ‘Crave Human Connections’

by MR Magazine Staff

As Lululemon Athletica outperforms its struggling rivals, CEO Laurent Potdevin told CNBC that brick-and-mortar retail won’t fade into obscurity anytime soon for one simple reason. “If you think about the evolution of how people lead their life and the evolution of athletic, mindful lifestyle[s], we know for a fact that people continue to crave human connections,” Potdevin told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “And they might not go to the mall as much and it’s not about the food court or the movie theater, but we know that, ultimately, people don’t want to be stuck to their phone and they crave human connections, and that’s what our communities do so well.” The CEO said that his company’s 2,500 brand ambassadors help Lululemon have its “finger on the pulse” in various communities around the globe and foster human engagement at its 421 physical locations, all of which Lululemon directly controls. And while Potdevin acknowledged the weakness in other athletic retailers like Nike, he said his brand is different. It doesn’t deal in footwear, a common theme among the weaker athletic retailers, he said. “I always say that we are based in the world of human connection and product and the control of our distribution,” he said. “Continuing to lead the market we’ve created at the intersection of athleticism and mindfulness is a position that we’re very, very proud to be in.” Read more at CNBC.