Leggings might not be enough to save Lululemon Athletica from denim’s imminent takeover, according to a Barrons report. “The new trends in denim suggest the triangle is turning right side up (tight tops paired with roomy bottoms),” wrote Canaccord Genuity analyst Camilo Lyons to Barrons.
Canaccord had warned consumers of Lululemon’s future at the end of 2016 after anticipating a denim-heavy season and a switch from activewear towards bigger, baggier denim.
According to a recent Canaccord consumer survey, Barrons reported that Lyons’ ideas might come true, after discovering that respondents intended to buy 18 percent fewer pairs of Lululemon pants in 2017. The resurgence of jeans could have an adverse impact on interest in yoga pants of Lululemon. The brand already faces relentless competition from Under Armour, Nike and a multitude of competitors selling less expensive gym-wear. A year of growth powered by an overhaul of its pants line-up may also be ending.
“We started noticing the emergence of denim last summer and based on subsequent visits to trade shows and discussions with industry contacts, we see a greater embracement of this trend in 2017 and 2018,” Lyons told Barrons. According to the same report, Canaccord’s most recent consumer survey shows that half of Lululemon’s customers select the brand’s yoga pants because they are fashionable rather than because they are comfortable, which could cause serious issues for Lululemon down the line if people turn to oversized denim for comfort-wear. Fashion can, and does, change always.