A popular retailer of yoga, running and cycling gear has opened in the Walden Galleria.
Lululemon Athletica on Friday cut the ribbon on its new store, which is located on the lower level across from the Apple store.
The designer sportswear retailer formerly had a showroom at 4476 Main St. in Amherst, but closed it to open the full-sized store at the mall.
Lululemon will hold a complimentary yoga class at the store Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Lululemon’s clothes have become popular outside the yoga studio, too, as more and more consumers find them to be appropriate garb for their active lifestyles.
The trend of wearing workout gear as everyday clothing is driving retailers such as Urban Outfitters and H&M to enter the fitness clothing arena. Others already in the field, such as Athleta and Lorna Jane, are looking to expand their U.S. and global footprint and Lululemon is actively growing its divisions.
Fitness clothing has become one of the biggest trends in fashion, mostly because activewear makers have created more attractive designs in comfortable fabrics that people want to wear, even when they’re not going to the gym.
Three lifestyle trends in apparel have created the perfect storm for activewear’s boom, said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for the NPD Group.
“Casual is one, athletic is two, healthy is three, and all three of them fit into activewear,” he said. Activewear was up 9 percent in 2013, compared with the total apparel market, which was up 2 percent last year, Cohen said. Activewear makes up 16 percent of the total apparel market.
The Canadian, publicly-traded Lululemon is known for its high-priced yoga pants, which retail from $80 to $98. Last year, the company recalled about 17 percent of its inventory after customers complained that some of its pants were so sheer they inadvertently became see-through when wearers struck certain yoga poses. That gaffe cost the company tens of millions of dollars, but the company’s image took an even bigger hit when founder Chip Wilson seemed to imply women’s too-curvy bodies were to blame for the defect.
The Orange County Register contributed to this report.