Lululemon sets up a stand

After a successful foray into the Red Deer market last Christmas, Lululemon Athletica has returned.

After a successful foray into the Red Deer market last Christmas, Lululemon Athletica has returned.

Studio Pilates has struck a deal with the active wear retailer to carry Lululemon products at its No. 9, 4699 61st St. studio.

Owner Colleen Manning-Baumbach said she’s open for sales on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. She plans to change those selling days to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in July, and might increase her retail operations even further thereafter.

“We’ll see how it goes — and then there are always thoughts of expanding the studio.”

Lululemon opened a “pop-up store” at Parkland Mall in December. It and another in Lethbridge were among 13 temporary shops that were set up in Canada for the busy Christmas shopping season.

Red Deer’s store closed in January, and about a month later Manning-Baumbach got a call from the Vancouver-based company asking if she’d sell Lululemon products at her studio.

Lululemon’s website identifies Red Deer, Lethbridge and Lake Louise as Alberta communities with “strategic sales dealers.”

“They call it their great Canadian wholesale program,” she said.

“They’re calling us retail partners.”

Lululemon has branded stores in Calgary, Edmonton and Banff.

Manning-Baumbach said she got to know the manager of the Red Deer pop-up store while it was operating, and is a big fan of the Lululemon brand.

“That’s all I wear.”

The selection at Studio Pilates is currently limited, with apparel there including pants, tank-tops and jackets for women and men.

“We’re starting off slower just to see what the demand is,” said Manning-Baumbach, adding that she’ll order new stock on a monthly basis.

Promotion so far has been by word-of-mouth, but reaction from people has been positive, she said.

“They’re excited.”

Based in Vancouver, Lululemon sells trendy clothing for athletic activities like yoga, running and cycling. It also carries accessories like yoga mats, gym bags, water bottles and running hats.

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