Gillian Thomson, The Noteworthy
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Shop Spotlight: lululemon Athletica Whyte Avenue
Tuesday July 28 , 2015
lululemon is more than just yoga pants, and it shows in their newly renovated space on Whyte Avenue. Of course, they still have those yoga pants they are famous for (in many different styles and fabrics), and they remain the source for athletic wear that performs as great as it looks. As they move towards being a well-rounded lifestyle brand, you might be pleased to find some less technical pieces include knitwear (hello, merino wool) to round out your lululemon wardrobe, and all the odds and ends needed to fill your yoga (and gym!) bag. And lots of people don’t realize they’ve got a great selection of mens athletic gear, too!
Besides the shift in clothing offerings, you’ll be surprised to hear about the new community initiatives that are coming out of the new space. They want the space to be a hub for a variety of community-building groups, not just retail, and it’s already on its way. Neighbouring businesses are welcome to have small meetings at the community table, and they often host little pop-up shops to showcase local artisans like Poppy Barley (made to measure boots), Sylvia Soo (leather goods), and Prairie Boys (mens grooming products).
Lululemon is also doing what they do best: bringing yogis together. Every Thursday night at 8:30pm, they clear the sales floor and make room for yoga mats for community yoga. The classes are free to attend (mat provided!). Every month has a certain focus (for example, meditation), with every series led by a different yoga instructor from around the city. How’s that for practicing what they preach—put their gear to the test in their own store!
As if hosting meetings, shopping artisans, and bending and stretching in store isn’t enough community use of the space, they’ve gone even more. Run Collective is a weekly running group that meets at the store every Wednesday at 6:15pm. Rain or shine, a group of 6-20 people are led by lululemon run ambassadors from across the city for a run around Old Strathcona. It’s an official Seawheeze training location, and you can keep up with their latest updates by following them on twitter @run_collective. Earlier in the year, the River City Runners group set up two treadmills in store and ran over 500km over 24 hours straight, raising money for Kids in Action.
Lululemon Athletica Whyte Avenue – 10544-82 Avenue (780-435-9363)
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