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Lululemon eyes China expansion, launches through JD

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Lululemon

Lululemon has officially debuted its digital flagship store through China’s JD, bringing its yoga and fitness products to the e-commerce site’s J Shop.

According to the platform, the new addition falls in line with the current growth in popularity of fitness and sports in the country, as well as the increasing demand for sports equipment.

It adds to the site’s J Shop offer, an “improved” subsidiary of JD’s fashion and lifestyle business which looks to help brands expand in China and accommodate the needs of the region’s consumers.

The news comes shortly after the CEO of the Canadian retailer, Calvin McDonald told China Daily of the brand’s intention to rapidly expand in the country.

In an interview with the publication, McDonald said: “Our new goal is to quadruple our international business again by 2026. The Chinese mainland will be a big part of that opportunity as we continue to invest in the market, in stores, in digital and build a community.”

McDonald noted that, while the brand currently has 71 stores in China, it intends to grow this to 220 over the next five years, with the majority to be located in Mainland China.

Additionally, the retailer is also expecting its digital expansion in the market will double its revenue over the same period after it reported that it had tripled between 2018 and 2021.

Brand backlash

Despite Lululemon’s positive outlook, the fitness label has also received significant backlash in the country after it was fined more than 12,000 dollars by the Beijing Xicheng District Market Supervision Board for selling poorly made products in May.

Following the news, the brand trended on the country’s popular social media platform Weibo through the hashtag ‘#Lululemonsellspoorlyqualifiedproducts’.

Lululemon quickly apologised via Weibo but turned off its comment section to avoid negative interactions, according to Jing Daily.

However, JD hopes the brand will return to favour with the Chinese market through its community-centric strategy and use of exclusive materials.