Lululemon, the purveyor of expensive athleisure and activewear, is betting on the future of personalized remote exercise as a way to reach customers by acquiring Mirror, a home fitness start-up that sells a $1,495 wall-mounted machine for streaming workout classes.
The $500 million purchase, which Lululemon announced on Monday, is the company’s first acquisition and follows its $1 million investment in Mirror last year. It’s a coup for Mirror and its chief executive, Brynn Putnam, a former New York City Ballet dancer who introduced the product in 2018 and has raised $72 million from investors. Mirror charges customers $39 a month to stream its live or on-demand classes.
The purchase fits with Lululemon’s ambitions to become an experiential brand that helps customers live a “healthy and mindful lifestyle across multiple experiences,” as it said last year.
“This isn’t just about getting guests to buy apparel,” Calvin McDonald, chief executive of Lululemon, said in an interview. “This is about strengthening our community and our loyalty and our relationship with our guests and memberships, and it’s going to be its own revenue stream model, which we’re excited about.”
Mirror, which is based in New York, expects to bring in over $100 million in revenue this year and either break even or be slightly profitable in 2021, Mr. McDonald said. Ms. Putnam, who will remain chief executive of Mirror and report directly to Mr. McDonald, said that the interactive fitness company had “tens of thousands of subscribers” and had seen its business accelerate during the coronavirus pandemic.
Home fitness products like Peloton and streaming classes have boomed during