Lululemon buys at-home exercise startup Mirror for $500 million

Athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica said Monday it’s acquiring at-home exercise startup Mirror for $500 million as Americans remain leery about returning to public gyms amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The deal is part of Lululemon’s plan to expand beyond just selling yoga and other exercise apparel for both men and women, and suggests that the Canadian workout-wear company is betting we won’t return to gyms anytime soon, as coronavirus cases surge across the United States. 

“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 sweat life,” Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said in a statement.

The move comes as Americans have been forced by gym closures to work out at home during the pandemic, and even substitute their young children for kettlebells. Lululemon on its website features a section that guides visitors through at-home workouts. While some gyms have reopened with new safety protocols in place, many fitness enthusiasts remain hesitant about returning to shared facilities over coronavirus concerns. 

Mirror, which launched in 2018, sells a $1,500 interactive mirror that streams live and on-demand workout classes. It also offers one-on-one personal training services.

Sweating at home with Peloton

The deal builds on a partnership between the two companies that began in mid-2019, when Lululemon made an initial investment in Mirror.

It also marks Lululemon’s first acquisition. Once the deal closes, Mirror will operate as a standalone company within Lululemon, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Brynn Putnam will continue as Mirror’s CEO, reporting to McDonald.