Is the New Lululemon Membership Going to be Worth It?

At a time when shoppers are looking for a more customized experience, Lululemon is launching a whole new type of loyalty program.

Aimed at active individuals who like to invest in their own physical health, this membership program combines transactional discounts with in-person classes, education, and community.

Everyone already kind of jokes about how expensive Lululemon athletic wear is, so is this new membership program going to be worth it?

A Little Information About Lululemon

Lululemon is a global athleticwear retailer that started in Canada. Their vision was to sell high-quality workout gear and sportswear and create a thriving community interested in health and athleticism. In addition to sports and cardio, they are also committed to promoting yoga practices within the community. 

Lululemon’s popularity spread like wildfire when word got out about how great one’s derriere looked in their leggings. Despite a $99+ price tag, their positive and affirmative branding got people’s attention. 

The Lululemon Practice Membership First of its Kind

The first thing you need to know about Lululemon’s membership program is that it’s basically in the beta testing phase. The rather ambitious program has many moving parts, and some of them rely on local access to group exercise classes.

Therefore, the pilot program was launched in just a handful of cities in the US and Canada. The cities selected were Chicago, Denver, and Boulder in the US and Edmonton and Toronto in Canada. 

Cost And Benefits Of A Lululemon Membership

The membership program doesn’t have an official name and is going by “the practice membership” at this time. The areas, benefits, and prices have changed throughout the experiment.

However, here are the current costs and benefits of the program. Both the cost of membership and the list of benefits will most likely continue to change as the program rolls out to more areas. Keep in mind the Canadian and US memberships differ in price and currency. At this time, the program costs $168 CAD and $148 USD. 

These are the current Lululemon membership benefits:

  • Exclusive Lululemon membership gear valued over $100 – this will be an exclusive pair of leggings right now, but the offer could change with the area or season over time. 
  • 12 passes to the member’s choice of sweat classes or events, either online or in-person, where available (In 2019, the benefit was two classes a month, it’s unclear if this will vary from city to city.)
  • 20% off Lululemon gear on members’ birthdays
  • Live digital workshops designed and facilitated by Lululemon
  • First dibs on select product releases and special access to exclusive gear
  • Passes for members’ friends and family, shopping perks, and more

You can find more information here. When this article was published, membership was limited to 5 cities across the US and Canada; Chicago, Denver, Boulder, Edmonton, and Toronto.

How The Lululemon Membership Differs From Any Other Membership Plan

We won’t compare this plan to others because there is simply nothing else like it. Lululemon is branching into unknown territory here in an effort to capitalize on the strength of their community. Building a community is what set them apart and built them an army of loyal customers from the start. 

Lululemon is seen as a luxury brand because you could easily go to Walmart or Target and get a pair of acceptable yoga pants for under $20. People pay the hundred-dollar and up the price tag of Lululemon for the quality and the prestige of wearing the popular brand logo. The store rarely offers sales or discounts, so the membership program is one of the only ways you can score deals on this merchandise. 

The biggest way this membership plan differs from others is the combination of discounts and the offer of in-person and online health and wellness classes. This builds community and involves Lululemon in the surrounding environments it serves. 

A Few FAQs About The New Program

How Long Does Membership Last?

The program will normally be annual from the date you join.

What Comes in the Welcome Kit?

When you sign up for the first time, you’ll get a welcome kit that contains your exclusive product, a Lululemon journal, and either a scrunchie or a hat (your choice). 

Can I Cancel My Lululemon Practice Membership?

All sales on the membership are final; you are locked in for one year. You can choose to discontinue when your year is up. 

How do the Sweat Classes Work?

You’ll get information about the featured studio for the month, along with information to sign up for your free class. You can choose the class and time from what the studio has available. You have 60 days to redeem each class. 

Can I Apply My Sweat Collective Discount to Membership?

You can certainly be enrolled in both, but at this time, you cannot use your sweat collective discount to purchase a membership. 

Has The New Lululemon Membership Plan Proven Successful?

The beta testing cities filled to capacity quickly. In fact, there are currently not taking more members at this time. Don’t worry; they are about to continue their launch with a roll out to new cities that have yet to be announced. 

As you can imagine, running a membership program that includes local classes takes a bit more work than creating a point-accumulation plan. If you have a little patience, though, they should open a membership plan near you soon. The “practice program” is already a wild success

While everyone else is doing points, free shipping, and discounts, Lululemon set out to do something unique. Today’s shoppers are looking for a custom experience they can’t get anywhere else. Competition is fierce in the athleisure market right now, and this hybrid membership program is Lulu’s way of standing out. 

By rethinking how a brand builds loyalty, Lululemon is set to profit big time. Their success is sure to continue to climb. 

How Is This New Membership Program Different From The Sweat Collective?

As we’ve mentioned, Lululemon doesn’t do a lot of sales or discounts. The Sweat Collective is one of the only discount programs they offered until now. Free to join but limited to people who could prove they were athletes or personal trainers, it was designed as sort of an ambassador or influencer program. Once you apply and get approved, you can get discounts on your orders. 

Who is eligible:

  • Group fitness/studio instructors/private instructors of adult participants
  • Personal trainers
  • Professional run club leaders
  • Studio owners
  • Studio managers
  • Athletes: eligible athletes include professional, Olympic, university/college (non-NCAA only), and elite amateur athletes (i.e., Canadian Hockey League, National Premier Soccer League, Iron Man, etc.)
  • Coaches and team trainers/staff

Pros and Cons: Is A Lululemon Membership Worth It?

Now that we’re covered what this brand new type of membership program is all about, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty pros and cons of membership. Since this is totally new territory, it’s tempting to dive right in and be an early adopter, but let’s talk it out. 

The Potential Cons of Lululemon’s New Membership

The number one thing that might give you pause is the great unknown. This is a pilot program, and its benefits are subject to change, possibly by a lot. Right now, the cities where it is available are extremely limited and are actually full to capacity.

You will have to sign up for their mailing list to wait for more news. The price and benefits have already changed a few times, and more changes are sure to come as they test and tweak the program. 

The Pros Of Jumping Onboard With Lululemon’s Membership Plan 

Here’s where the excitement builds. Currently, the cost of the membership is only $148 USD. If you head over to the brand’s website, you’ll see that their leggings are already in the $100 – $140 range. The membership comes with one free pair a year; that’s pretty much your money back right there before any of the other benefits kick in. And the piece you’ll be getting will be limited edition, which always means dollar signs for Lululemon. 

In addition to your merchandise, you’ll get access to in-person and online workouts and personal development content. You’ll also get discounts and invites to sale events which Lululemon is notorious for being stingy with. 

Final Thoughts about the Lululemon Practice Membership

In short, if you plan to buy even one pair of leggings per year, this membership is totally worth it.

When Lululemon comes out with an exclusive piece, people listen and take out their wallets.

This is a great way for you to get one exclusive fashion piece each year. As we ease out of a pandemic the number of cities and workout studio choices will surely increase. Until then, they are offering a selection of online courses in addition to their workout sessions. 

Now that you’re excited about Lululemon’s new membership program, you just have to wait for them to continue to roll it out. Let’s just hope that it comes to a city near you soon.

Deanna Balestra is a freelance writer and a contributor from St. Louis, MO who enjoys writing about a variety of topics including small business, marketing, education, and health. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading both fiction and non-fiction books, watching movies, playing with her kids, and volunteering with animals.

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