Canadian athletic apparel retailer Lululemon, hungry to expand, could lean further on Alibaba to drive growth, according to CEO Laurent Potdevin.
And while the relationship with China’s e-commerce giant pays dividends, Lululemon isn’t worrying about threats from its main U.S. rival: Some reports have said Amazon is planning to create its own sports apparel line, but Potdevin told CNBC the U.S.-based tech giant is unlikely to pose a direct threat to his company.
“I think Amazon is mostly around commodity product. That’s not our sandbox,” Potdevin said, explaining that Lululemon will continue to focus on innovation and on the high-end of the market.
“The fact that we control our distribution really allows us to have a different positioning,” he said.
As for his company’s Alibaba partnership — Lululemon products are available to consumers on Tmall, an Alibaba-run e-commerce site — Potdevin said it’s integral for the business.
With Alibaba, “there is really a passion for data, but not so much for the brands competing among themselves. So that relationship is really powerful and it translates to what we do offline both in our stores and through events,” he said.
Lululemon announced in August that it raked in $581.1 million in revenue for the second quarter — easily topping a projected $567.8 million. The figure was also a 13 percent year-over-year increase.
The company has said it plans to hit $4 billion in yearly revenue by 2020.