Lululemon is making a play into the fitness industry as it will buy startup Mirror for $500 million. Last year, the Vancouver-based athleisure company invested $1 million into Mirror, most known for its nearly $1,500 wall-mounted machine that streams workouts with a $39 monthly fee.
“This isn’t just about getting guests to buy apparel,” Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald told the New York Times. “This is about strengthening our community and our loyalty and our relationship with our guests and memberships, and it’s going to be its own revenue stream model, which we’re excited about.”
Mirror’s revenue is projected to be more than $100 million this year as it aims to break even or bring in a profit next year. Mirror’s founder Brynn Putnam, who will remain the company’s CEO, said the home fitness platform gained traction during the pandemic.
The pandemic was not a “trigger” for the acquisition, though Lululemon did see sales drop 17% to $652 million in the quarter that ended May 3. The same period did see direct-to-consumer sales jump 70% and it reported Monday it has more than $800 million in cash.
The purchase comes as Lululemon seeks to further its connection with its customers, a loyal community it calls “Sweatlife.” Last year the brand organized and hosted more than 4,000 events, including yoga sessions and half marathons and the brand opened a 20,000-square-foot experiential shop with a yoga studio, healthy food restaurant, gym, and meditation area in Chicago. It’s also testing a membership program for $128 per year, which includes exclusive merchandise access, a free pair of yoga pants, free yoga classes and free shipping on online orders.