Canada's lululemon athletica to shut down 40 ivivva stores by Q3 FY 2017


Canadian sportswear retailer lululemon athletica is planning to close around 40 of its 55 ivivva branded stores by the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2017, as part of its restructuring strategy.

In an attempt to shift its focus to online business, the retailer intends to operate its activewear brand ivivva as an e-commerce company.

Around half of the remaining ivivva stores will be rebranded as lululemon stores.

In major communities across North America, the company intends to operate with selected ivivva stores.

The company will also close all of its ivivva branded showrooms and other temporary locations, as well as streamline its corporate infrastructure.

"Our current outlook for the remainder of 2017 is strong, and I'm energised by the growth strategies taking shape."

lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin said: "Our current outlook for the remainder of 2017 is strong, and I'm energised by the growth strategies taking shape. I'm also confident in our plans to restructure ivivva and believe they are the best means to optimise this part of the business."

As part of the restructuring plan, the company had recognised $17.7m in pre-tax costs in the first quarter of this fiscal year.

In fiscal 2017, the company intends to recognise total pre-tax costs of between $50m and $60m, including the $17.7m.

lululemon has reported that store sales for the quarter ended 30 April this year decreased 2%, as compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

The latest move comes at a time when retailers are downsizing their brick-and-mortar operations due to falling sales and revenues, besides strong competition from online retailers.

Fashion retailer Michael Kors, Payless ShoeSource and rue21 recently announced store closures.