Huge thank you to Gretchen Connelie for her Lululemon First Quarter 2016 Earnings Results cliff notes. The earnings calls are about an hour long with a question and answer period at the end and so I'm very grateful that Gretchen took the time to listen to the call and provide these great cliff notes for us.
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.”