Lululemon buying Mirror could be the beginning of a new era for activewear and fitness content

By Elizabeth Segran

It’s a match made in fitness heaven: Activewear giant Lululemon has just dropped $500 million on Mirror, a startup whose devices allow you to stream fitness classes. We can soon expect a lot of overlap between the brands. Mirror will start appearing in Lululemon stores, and Mirror fitness instructors will soon be clad in Lululemon gear (and may even be Lululemon ambassadors).

Lululemon, a 22-year-old company, had been pondering this move for some time. It invested $1 million in Mirror last year. But the coronavirus pandemic has transformed the world of fitness, making this acquisition more relevant than ever.

Many activewear brands—including Lululemon, Nike, and Reebok—have started streaming online fitness classes as a way to keep customers engaged while stores have been closed. And there’s been a spike in sales among the new generation of at-home workout machines that stream classes, such as Peloton, Mirror, Tempo, and Tonal. Given that coronavirus cases are still surging across the country—and the world—it’s unclear exactly when people will feel comfortable working out in enclosed fitness studios and gyms again, and by then, consumers may have shifted their behaviors. Brands now have the opportunity to help shape what those new fitness habits will look like.

Mirror was founded in 2018 by Brynn Putnam, a former New York City Ballet dancer. After purchasing the device for $1,495, customers pay $39 a month to participate in courses ranging from kickboxing to meditation. Over the last two years, it has raised $72 million in venture capital, which means this acquisition is a huge success for the startup.


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