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While the U.S. has seen lower mall traffic and weaker spending across much of the retail spectrum, now even the once-unscathed luxury corner of the mall where Lululemon has positioned itself is getting hit.
While the U.S. has seen lower mall traffic and weaker spending across much of the retail spectrum, now even the once-unscathed luxury corner of the mall where Lululemon has positioned itself is getting hit.
(Lululemon Athletica/Lululemon Athletica Inc)

ROB INSIGHT

Despite niche appeal, Lululemon can’t escape sector’s headwinds

The realities of the crowded retail landscape have finally caught up to Lululemon Athletica Inc. The Canadian yoga-wear peddler warned Monday that it would fall well short of its original earnings estimate of 78 to 80 cents (U.S.) a share for the fiscal fourth quarter.

The revised range of 71 to 73 cents would put profit below the level of a year earlier. That’s never a good sign for a story stock whose compelling theme – at least before last year’s woes – had been all about rapid growth of a strong, near-iconic retail brand with a loyal and widening customer base.