on the money
Popular athletic apparel company Lululemon can’t find a buyer for fitness product Mirror – despite slashing the value it paid for the device by nearly 90%, insiders told On The Money.
Lululemon paid $500 million for the low-tech gadget during the height of the pandemic-induced exercise craze in 2020. However, a recent filing showed the company wrote down Mirror’s value to just $58 million.
One source with knowledge said the fact Lululemon is choosing to sell the product now underscores how eager the company is to offload the sinking asset.
“If you’re selling something today in this market, you’re probably in trouble,” one source close to the situation told On The Money. “It’s not the time to be selling something – no one is buying things at high multiples.”
Lululemon reportedly approached fitness company Hydrow in April, but no deal was struck.
“The reality is that Mirror is just a larger ‘screen’ than your iPhone or iPad,” one fitness insider told On The Money. “You don’t need a special mirror — you could literally just lean your phone against the mirror and do a workout video or FaceTime a trainer.”
The 56-inch Mirror includes a camera so instructors and friends can see users during workout classes.
Initially, Mirror – launched in 2018 by ballerina Brynn Putnam – sold for $1,495 each, but as demand waned, the price dropped to $995. Monthly subscriptions for classes now cost $39.
“They wanted to get in the tech space because they were seeing the growth of Peloton,” one fitness insider told On The Money. “They were trying to find the next phase of their business but they ended up investing in just a big old screen.”
While most at-home fitness products have suffered dramatically since lockdowns ended, Mirror was positioned even more poorly than other companies because it lacked unique technology, such as Tonal’s smart gym, or Peloton’s ties to celebrity instructors.
“There was an arms race trying to get into digital fitness but we’re seeing a massive reset,” another source said. “No one needs 25 apps for fitness, especially when there are so many free options.”
One investor likened the Mirror to the now defunct company Juicero — a company that sold a $400 machine to squeeze Juicero-branded juice packets into a cup.
A spokesperson for Lululemon said, “We do not comment on market rumors. As we’ve previously shared, we have evolved our lululemon Studio strategy to focus on a digital app that will create more opportunities for lululemon guests to become members and engage with lululemon Studio content. We are now focused on bringing this strategy to life.”