July 22, 2015

Upscale Lululemon Athletica Expanding into Retail Space in Regalia

By:  Andy Ashby
Memphis Business Journal
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Lululemon Athletica Inc. has picked the Regalia Shopping Center for an expanded East Memphis location due to strong local support.
The high-end athletic apparel retailer has signed a lease for 3,000 square feet next to A Pea in the Pod.
The company’s first Memphis store has been operating in a 1,000-square-foot showroom at 5007 Black Road, Suite 230, behind Houston’s Restaurant. The company will close that location to open the full retail store by late August.
The company designs and sells yoga-inspired athletic apparel. It reported revenue of $1 billion in 2011 and has 174 stores in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The store will have in-store classes, weekly run clubs and community information boards to connect customers with local health and fitness leaders in the area.
The company doesn’t have any immediate plans to expand further in the Memphis market, according to Carolyn Manning, Lululemon’s new store opening community coordinator.
“We are adamant about getting to know our communities and how they like to sweat before making any commitments to opening new stores,” she says. “It has never been our goal to meet a certain number of retail locations, and instead choose to listen to the needs of the community.”
Regalia Shopping Center is a 89,500-square-foot shopping center at 6150 Poplar Ave.
Owned and operated by Boyle Investment Co., its key tenants are Oak Hall, Vineyard Vines, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Circa and Owen Brennan’s.
Within three miles, the property has a population of 65,079 people and an average household income of $78,571, according to Boyle’s website.
The Lululemon lease brings the shopping to center 88 percent occupied with the lone vacancy being a 11,386-square-foot space.
Boyle senior vice president Cary Whitehead and assistant vice president Jon Isbell handle leasing at Regalia. They’ve been seeing more interest lately for retail space.
“It takes a little longer to make deals, but I think there is some increased activity,” Isbell says.
Lululemon has some of the highest sales per square foot among apparel retailers. The company is growing nationally and could help draw national retailers’ attention to the area.
“I think it helps bring in more national recognition when you have one of the hottest retailers out there right now,” Isbell says.