Lululemon’s Prices Aren’t for Everybody — Why Is the Brand so Expensive?

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
By

Dec. 27 2023, Published 1:37 p.m. ET

Lululemon banner
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Lululemon is a popular athleisure brand that sells clothes for yoga, workouts, or running errands.
  • The brand has gained attention for its expensive leggings and other products, ranging from about $40 to $130.
  • Lululemon’s audience remains loyal to the brand despite its intense price points.
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Since 2000, Lululemon has been one of the most sought-after athleisure brands in the world. Founded by Chip Wilson in Vancouver, Canada, Lululemon’s shorts, leggings, and other clothing items have become a part of the social media and pop culture zeitgeist, as many celebrities like Lori Harvey, the Kar-Jenners, and Kate Middleton rock the brand when they’re out running errands — just like the rest of us.

Lululemon’s popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Unfortunately, neither do the company’s price points. So, why is Lululemon so expensive? And, more importantly, why are people buying it anyway? Keep reading to find out.

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Lori Harvey rocking a pair of Lululemon leggings
Source: Getty Images

Why is Lululemon so expensive? What to know.

Some would think Lululemon’s consumers aren’t spending more than 20, maybe even $30, for an outfit they can sweat for an hour or two. However, those familiar with Lululemon know a pair of leggings can be the same price as someone’s phone bill or an extremely low car insurance rate.

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Lululemon’s website provides the prices for all of its apparel, including leggings, hoodies, accessories, etc. We quickly glanced at the site and found that just one pair of the brand’s popular high-waist leggings can run from $98 - $118. Additionally, some of the items, such as Lululemon’s flared pants, cost between $118-128 apiece.

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Lululemon’s clothing prices are a far cry from the leggings some receive on Amazon or other affordable retailers. According to Investopedia, the prices are higher because of the money Lululemon reportedly invests on the backend.

The outlet stated in December 2023 that Lululemon uses “high-quality materials and premium fabrics designed to be durable, resistant, and comfortable,” which can spike the items’ prices.

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The company reportedly spends countless amounts of money on “research and development, as well as in marketing, in order to build a strong brand image.” By pricing most of its products over $50, Lululemon reportedly earns some of the money back from purchasing them.

A Lululemon store
Source: Getty Images
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Lululemon reportedly costs much less to make it than to sell it.

Although a trip to Lululemon can be extravagant, there are millions of people who happily partake in contributing to the brand’s success. In addition to celebrities, content creators on TikTok and other social media apps proudly buy anything the line drops and share their hauls of the heavily priced athleisure.

While many content creators have no qualms about spending hundreds of dollars on workout clothes, some have spoken out about Lululemon’s exorbitant prices. In November 2021, a TikTok user named Addison Jarman (@addison.jarman) discussed why Lululemon’s leggings and other products cost so much.

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In the video, Addison pretended to be a Lululemon customer asking an employee why her leggings were “over $100.” Then, as the employee, Addison revealed the company uses “high-quality products,” the same reason as Investopedia’s. At the end of the clip, Addison pretended to be a Lululemon manufacturer who said the leggings actually cost $8 to make.

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However, since the $8 price comes from buying the leggings in bulk, so, if a customer wanted their leggings to cost that amount, it would require them to buy 10,000 pairs of the leggings, which would be way more expensive than the $88-130 price on Lululemon’s website.

Fortunately, Addison stated as the employee that anyone buying items from Lululemon can return them if they don’t match the “high-quality material” the brand promises. But based on Lululemon’s consistent rise, its consumers don’t seem to mind them as-is.

What makes Lululemon so special?

Lululemon’s aesthetically pleasing designs and social media success contribute to why its customers aren’t ready to let it go just yet. However, everyone clearly isn’t paying Lululemon’s prices, as many content creators have discussed how to spot fake items one may have gotten from a cheaper retailer.

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