VANCOUVER, Canada — Athleisure powerhouse lululemon is set to acquire at-home fitness startup Mirror in a deal worth $500 million.
Having invested $1 million in Mirror last year, lululemon is doubling down on its foray into the at-home fitness space, as the fitness industry navigates an inflection point accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting shifts in consumer behaviour.
At-home fitness upstarts including Hydrow, Tempo, Future, Tonal and Peloton have been enjoying an uptick in sales while gyms and fitness studios remain closed around the world. And as consumers get comfortable with new ways of working out, lululemon is hoping it can anchor itself within this evolving fitness landscape.
Having cleverly cultivated a brand deeply rooted in community engagement and experience, with the acquisition of Mirror lululemon has the opportunity to lean further into its vision of becoming an experiential-led business.
“The acquisition of Mirror is an exciting opportunity to build upon that vision, enhance our digital and interactive capabilities, and deepen our roots in the sweatlife. We look forward to learning from and working with Brynn Putnam and the team at Mirror to accelerate the growth of personalised in-home fitness,” explained Calvin McDonald, Chief Executive Officer at lululemon.
The retailer already hosts a calendar of immersive, community-building events, as well as both in-store and streamed workouts, so it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see how Mirror could factor into its growing ecosystem — think lululemon hosted workouts and Mirrors sold via the retailer’s stores.
For Mirror, meanwhile, the opportunity to tap into such a targeted vertical audience is undeniable. Priced at $1,495 for the device alone, which enables users to participate in live and on-demand fitness classes, Mirror’s premium positioning and luxe aesthetic are well placed to pique the interest of lululemon’s aspirational and lifestyle-led customers.
Mirror, which launched in 2018, raising $72 million in venture capital from Spark Capital, Point72 Ventures and others over the past two years, claims to already have “tens of thousands of users”. However, according to the brand’s founder Brynn Putnam, by becoming part of the lululemon family it will further strengthen its position and accelerate its growth by leveraging lululemon’s deep relationships with its guests, ambassadors and communities to acquire new users.
Following the completion of the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of the fiscal year, Mirror will continue to operate as a standalone company within lululemon, with Putnam remaining as CEO.
The former dancer and ambitious entrepreneur has grand plans for the business, previously telling Fast Company that she wants Mirror to become the third screen in peoples’ lives — a device that consumers turn to for all immersive interactive experiences going forward.
According to CNBC, the fitness company expects to generate more than $100 million in revenue this year, and it will either break even or be slightly profitable in 2021.