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Nike will open 'pant studios' for women, sending Lululemon shares lower

  • Nike is preparing to open "pant studios" in 5,000 of its stores.
  • The move could hurt a retailer like Lululemon, which has built its brand around women's fitness apparel.
  • Amazon is also reportedly getting into sportswear and planning to create its own private-label lines.
People walk past the Nike SoHo store, June 15, 2017 in New York City.
Getty Images
People walk past the Nike SoHo store, June 15, 2017 in New York City.

Nike could be about to hit Lululemon where it hurts.

The Oregon-based sporting goods company is preparing to open "pant studios" in 5,000 of its stores, according to supplemental documents handed out at Nike's investor day.

"We are #1 globally in the bottoms market, but we aren't satisfied, so we talked with women around the world and heard a common theme…make product by activity," Nike wrote. "Our Pant Studio features a range of new silhouettes because it's not only about tights anymore."

Bloomberg first reported on the news Thursday.

The studios will feature a curated assortment of women's wear, like yoga pants — items Trevor Edwards, president of the Nike brand, highlighted during his latest presentation to investors and analysts. The spaces are slated to open on Nov. 1, right ahead of the holidays, and can also be shopped through Nike.com.

"This $7 billion business will continue to be fueled by more women engaging in sport, wellness and activity," Edwards said Wednesday about Nike's ambitions. "Our growth in our women's business is outpacing our men's business, and it will continue to do so."

Shares of Lululemon fell about 2 percent Thursday afternoon on the news, closing the day down less than 1 percent.

This isn't the first time Lululemon has taken a hit from competitors lately.

Just earlier this month, it was reported that Amazon is getting into sportswear and plans to create its own private-label lines. The e-commerce giant has reportedly teamed up with companies that manufacture clothes for Nike, Lululemon and Under Armour.

Vancouver-based Lululemon has 421 stores open today throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In June, the athletic apparel maker known for its yoga pants unveiled plans to close most of its unprofitable Ivivva girls stores, and to focus investments online instead. On its latest quarterly earnings conference call, Lululemon management discussed plans to lure more male shoppers to the brand.

Lululemon competes in a "very different playground" than Amazon, Chief Executive Laurent Potdevin told CNBC in September. Lululemon is also aiming to grow its brand penetration overseas.

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