Exercise apparel company lululemon athletica announced yesterday that it will be acquiring Mirror, an in-home fitness-content-streaming platform, for $500 million in a deal slated to close at the end of the second fiscal quarter.
lululemon said in its announcement that Mirror will continue to operate as a standalone company underneath its new parent. Launched in 2018, Mirror had raised roughly $72 million from investors such as Point72 Ventures, Spark Capital and lululemon.
“We are thrilled to officially become a part of the lululemon family," Brynn Putnam, CEO and cofounder of Mirror, said in a statement. "As part of lululemon, Mirror can further strengthen its position and accelerate its growth by leveraging lululemon’s deep relationships with its guests, ambassadors and communities, as well as the company’s infrastructure, including its store network and e-commerce channels, to acquire new users.”
Mirror's namesake product is a large LCD panel that streams workout videos and music, while also doubling as a full-length mirror when not in use. For a $1,495 purchase and $39 per month subscription, the device includes a camera so that users are able to see their own reflection, as well as the live fitness content produced by Mirror and offered through the subscription service.
The service includes a companion app that supports playing music through the device’s stereo speakers, and some biometric-tracking capabilities via devices such as Apple Watches. In October, the platform also kicked off one-on-one personal training sessions with two-way audio and visual communication.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
lululemon's 2019 investment into Mirror came alongside a content partnership in which the apparel brand helped develop workout and meditation classes for the digital service. The result of this hefty purchase is likely to be more of the same content-branding efforts, which lululemon hopes will help bring in new customers.
But the retailer has also has also branched out beyond apparel by offering in-store yoga and workout sessions in recent years. Picking up an in-home, connected-fitness platform is a chance to expand those lifestyle offerings at a time when COVID-19 is limiting its physical reach.
“In 2019, we detailed our vision to be the experiential brand that ignites a community of people living the 'sweatlife' through sweat, grow and connect," lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said in a statement. "The acquisition of Mirror is an exciting opportunity to build upon that vision, enhance our digital and interactive capabilities and deepen our roots in the sweatlife. We look forward to learning from and working with Brynn Putnam and the team at Mirror to accelerate the growth of personalized in-home fitness.”
THE LARGER TREND
The purchase comes at a time of increased demand for in-home workout products.
Peloton, the highest-profile competitor in this space, reported in an earnings call last month that it had seen a 66% YoY revenue increase for the quarter and similar increases in its service subscriber numbers.
As social distancing guidances continue to ebb and flow over the coming months, the major question is whether other private companies working on these types of platforms will follow Mirror's lead and court potential buyers.