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Brief Published: 8 Sep 2017

Evolving Athleisure: Lululemon’s Mindfulosophy Space


Canadian athleisure retailer Lululemon has opened a ‘Mindfulosophy’ space within its new flagship in Midtown, New York. The move is further proof that meditation and other mindfulness-based practices formerly considered ‘alternative’ are continuing to cement their place in mainstream consciousness.

Evolving the brand’s in-store classes – which include yoga, meditation sessions and running-club meet-ups – the space is situated in a clearly demarcated area and is designed to offer a simple place to relax. The key feature is a host of ‘zen pods’ boasting cushions and headphones, where visitors can listen to one of 12 self-guided meditations by Danielle Nagel, Lululemon’s director of mindful performance; and Tom Waller, head of its Whitespace Innovation Lab (an R&D team of scientists, engineers, strategists and inventors “seeking to leave a legacy in future health by unlocking human potential”). 

The project dovetails neatly with the consumer desire for constant self-improvement (see The Supportive Sell) and the rolling appetite for new wellness initiatives. While brands have traded on meditation before, it’s one of the first examples of a ‘regular’ retailer devoting permanent rather than pop-up store space to it, alongside US skincare brand Philosophy’s virtual reality “gratitude meditation” space in its New Jersey flagship.

It also succeeds Lululemon’s previous meditation projects. In December 2016, it hosted guided meditation walks near its Manhattan and Montreal stores, while its 2015 “meditation challenge” podcast series featured seven days of short audio recordings “urging you to connect to your most expansive self without boundaries”.

See also Monetising Mindfulness, Modern Mysticism and Neo Spirituality in Retail’s Prestige Players