Sweaty Betty Expands In the U.S. — 5 Reasons Lululemon Should Be Worried
Listen up, Lululemon: another athleticwear veteran is making its way across the pond, and they've got big potential to make waves. Fashionista reports that U.K.-based company Sweaty Beaty will launch two stores in the U.S., starting with New York City and Greenwich, Conn.
Sweaty Beaty is known for their punchy prints and quirky styling, and its founder Tamara Hill-Norton believes her company will bring something new to the U.S. market. In an interview with Business of Fashion, Hill-Norton explains what sets Sweaty Betty apart in the already crowded athleticwear market:
The fact that we’re British and we use British designers and a mix of European fabrics. We’re also multi-sport and we’re finding that our swimwear and skiwear is selling really well. And we’ve got a lot more unusual statement styles. Also, we’ll style up whole looks — we’ll even have knitwear thrown in that you can wear on top of your yoga clothes to look a bit quirky and different. So, a lot of layering. We’re hoping these traits, our fabrics and being multi-category will really set us apart.
It's natural to talk about Lululemon in the same breath as Sweaty Betty; the two brands are direct competitors. And if Lulu's quaking in their yoga pants about SB's expansion in the U.S., it's with good reason; although Lululemon is also expanding overseas and is attempting to make the best of their bad PR situation, Sweaty Betty has a leg up in a lot of ways. Here are five reasons Sweaty Betty could kick Lululemon right out of their warrior stance:
Women Are Into More Than Just Yoga
Sweaty Betty provides products for women yogis, runners, skiers, dancers, cyclists, swimmers, and tennis-lovers. Lululemon is mostly known for yoga and running products. SB wins in the versatility category, which can carry them far.
Slow And Steady Wins the Race
Both Sweaty Betty and Lululemon opened in 1998, but Sweaty Betty has 42 boutiques in the U.K. and the U.S., while Lululemon is managing more than 200 in North America. Some believe it was Lululemon's exponential expansion that lead to their current precarious situation, but Sweaty Betty avoided that pitfall. They're on firm ground as they move into new markets.
A CEO You Can Trust
Founder Tamara Hill-Norton is the face of Sweaty Betty. She is an exercise enthusiast and a figurehead for female empowerment and entrepreneurship. Lululemon’s now-ousted founder Chip Wilson is known as the guy who thinks plus-sized women have no business wearing yoga pants.
Gym to Street is Happening
Style that can transition from workout to out on the town is already in Sweaty Betty’s brand DNA. They're bringing that aesthetic to the US just as the athletic trend is hitting its peak and chic gym clothes are in demand.
The Clothes Are Really Cute
Seems simple, but not everyone gets it right. They do. See for yourself…