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Lululemon says investment in e-commerce pays off

Athleisure retailer Lululemon’s investment in e-commerce — revamping its website and improving on direct-marketing efforts to draw new customers — has paid off.

Lululemon has posted a 46 per cent increase in its online revenue last year, adding that it has reached an e-commerce penetration rate of 26 per cent.

The company announced it will be investing aggressively in e-commerce in new territories and plans to open e-commerce markets in France, Japan and Germany. The retailer also said it will roll out its “order online, pick up in store” program across the US by the winter holidays this year.

The Canada-based retailer said they will step up on their international expansion plans, saying more than half of its planned 40 to 50 store openings this year would be in overseas markets.

Lululemon posted a 24 per cent increase in revenue to $3.3 billion for the fiscal year ending February 3 from the $2.65 billion from the previous corresponding period.

“Lululemon has delivered one of its strongest years yet, a result of broad-based strength across the business,” said company CEO Calvin McDonald in a press release.

“We are energised to build upon our momentum and to seize the many opportunities ahead for Lululemon around the world.”

For the fourth quarter, Lululemon said net revenue rose 26 per cent to $1.2 billion aided by holiday sales.

Total revenue for fiscal 2018 was $3.3 billion.

The retailer’s profitability in Asia and Australia more than offset the operating loss in Europe. Now with the company having 21 stores in Europe, Lululemon said it was about a year and half away from breaking even in Europe.

The company forecast the momentum would continue this year, saying they expect a net revenue to be in the range of $3.7 billion to $3.74 billion for the full fiscal 2019.

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