Skip to main content traffic report: Nike and Lululemon soar above the competition

Al Urbanski
Lululemon posted double-digit, year-over-year traffic increases over the last three months.

Store traffic in the sporting goods apparel sector declined steadily from December through February. But that was hardly the case for the two leaders in the category.

Compared to the previous year period, visits to Lululemon Athletica stores increased by 23.2% in January and by more than 11% in both December and February, according to cell tower traffic-tracker Placer. ai. Visits to Nike and Nike Factory stores posted traffic increases ranging from 6% to 21.8% over the three months.

Traffic across the entire athletic apparel category, meanwhile, steadily dipped to -3.6% in December, -5.5% in January, and 7.6% in February. attributes Lululemon’s success to expanding the usages of its real estate, operating as design studios during the day and  yoga studios at night.

Nike has been introducing experiential, members-only stores such as Nike Rise, where shoppers can access customized sneakers and apparel, and Nike Live, where localized designs are offered. Nike, too, offered discounts on much of its stock at the end of 2022 to offload excess inventory.

Visits per venue at both retailers trended upward, as well, in the year-over-year comparison.

“The increase in visits per venue is especially noteworthy given that both brands have increased their store counts over the past few years and are continuing to add more stores to their fleets,” said analyst Bracha Arnold. “Nike and Lululemon both are focusing on new growth opportunities despite the ongoing economic headwinds.”

Nike is planning a 200-store expansion over the next few years. Lululemon, while steadily growing its United States store roster, is focusing on international expansion with an intent to quadruple its revenue abroad by 2026.

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