It seems as if well-to-do soccer moms and yoga junkies are back at the mall again. lululemon athletica
The high-end fitness-apparel retailer also didn't have to mark down its sweat-shaking duds. Gross margins crept back up to the ideal 50% mark, with earnings soaring by 60%, to $0.20 a share. The Canadian retailer has now topped Wall Street expectations in each of the past six quarters, though this is the first time in a year that lululemon has delivered positive store-level comps.
There are now 119 stores in the chain, and lululemon sees room for 300 total locations. The retailer also opened its first three ivivva athletica stores, aiming at the market of girls between ages 6 and 12.
The company's success isn't all about yoga. Retailers that have stakes in yoga apparel include VF's
The success of lululemon is a combination of a hot affinity brand and the store's stocking approach. It orders up limited quantities of new wear weekly, so it keeps inventory growth in check while inspiring shoppers to stop by every week.
Taking a page out of the Amazon.com
The company expects the favorable trend in comps to accelerate. It sees same-store sales growing in the mid-teens on a constant-dollar basis during the holiday quarter. It expects a profit of $0.26 to $0.28 a share on $140 million to $145 million in revenue.
Opportunistic shareholders who managed to pick up lululemon during its March lows have been treated to a juicy 500% gain. Clearly, the stock isn't the bargain that it used to be, with the rich multiples it's trading at. However, lululemon's premium is well earned as a hot concept with plenty of upside. Its cash-rich and debt-free balance sheet is also a welcome sight among its leveraged mall-rat peers.
You go, yoga queens!
Which mall retailers do you think will have a healthy holiday season this year? Share your faves in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't believe that he has the patience and focus to excel at yoga. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.