REAL ESTATE

Lululemon does Gainesville

BY Al Urbanski

Yoga outfitter nonpareil Lululemon has found a home in the home of the University of Florida.

Butler Enterprises announced that the retailer will open its first Gainesville location in a 2,000-sq.-ft. space in the Butler Plaza section of its massive retail complex in North Central Florida.

“Lululemon is a retailer in high demand in Gainesville that I’ve wanted to bring in for quite some time. We have a youthful, active market that’s incredibly health conscious, and athleisure is our everyday wear,” said Butler Enterprises president Deborah Butler.

The Canadian-based company turned in one of the strongest years of any specialty retailer. For the year ended Feb. 3, Lululemon’s net revenue rose 24% to $3.288 billion. Company-operated stores that have been open for at least one year averaged sales of $1,579 per square foot. Total comparable sales increased 18%.

“Ultimately, all of Lululemon’s success and its future potential come down to a very clear brand vision which is flawlessly executed,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail in a recent commentary.

“In Gainesville we have goat yoga, hot yoga, yoga at the brewery, mommy and me yoga. It’s part of our culture and having Lululemon recognize a gap in the market and fill that for us is very exciting,” said Butler corporate director of marketing Mary Reichardt.

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