Here's what's happening at Dayton-area businesses.

Lululemon eyes major expansion in 2019, including footwear

Popular e-commerce retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. is planning aggressive growth this year, at a time when other stores like Payless ShoeSource, Sears and Gymboree are filing for bankruptcy and closing stores.

The athletic apparel retailer said this week that it will add shoes to its business through a partnership with Athletic Propulsion Labs, which launched in 2017. Lululemon will work with APL to develop its own in-house footwear, CEO Calvin McDonald said Tuesday.

“We tested, and we learned a lot on footwear, and what we learned is: The guest resonates with us selling footwear,” McDonald said. “We believe we’ve identified an opportunity that will be unique to us and unique within the marketplace.”

The company also expects to double men’s and digital revenues, along with quadrupling international revenues. It will also continue its focus on its core women’s athletic apparel business and opening brick-and-mortar locations across the United States, according to a release.

Over the next five years, the company plans for low double digit growth each year.

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“We’re ready to build upon our success and embark on the next phase of growth at lululemon to realize the full potential of our brand,” McDonald said. “We believe lululemon has a unique opportunity to push beyond traditional expectations to develop innovative products and become a fully experiential brand that creates compelling experiences for guests who want to completely live into the sweatlife.”

Lululemon is currently piloting a membership program and plans to introduce new products.

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Lululemon is a luxury athletic apparel retailer, with women’s running tights averaging around $100. McDonald recently told the Wall Street Journal that the company has no plans to lower its prices despite many cheaper alternatives entering the market since Lululemon sprouted into a multibillion-dollar company.

Last year the company’s net revenues increased 24 percent to $3.3 billion and same-store sales surged 18 percent.

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