Lulu's New Mantra: Manleisure-wear

Thursday, March 28, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

"I breathe better in breathable khakis"

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Hey Snackers,

What justice looks like: 4 US robocallers just got surprised with multi-million dollar fines.

Enjoy that. Markets meanwhile barely budged as the quarterly corporate earnings season slows down.

1. Lululemon surges 11% on man-pants focus

Set an intention... The Vancouver-based team over at Lululemon did for 2018. And it worked. Quarterly sales surged 26%, making last year one of its "strongest yet." Lulu's focus for the future is to blossom into a "dual-gender" brand.

Man's best friend... is a pair of sweat-wicking, technical khakis with a hidden back pocket. Lulu's CEO straight up called out guys as its "most exciting" area of growth:

  • Turns out "men's bottoms" have become "extremely profitable."
  • So Lulu signed NFL QB Nick Foles to be its first male ambassador of squat-worthy pants (FYI, he prefers the title "elite ambassador" and is now really into the hashtag #thesweatlife).
  • And since Lulu only owns 20% of the male workout market currently, it's very, very into this.

"Work-leisure-wear" is now a thing... Goldman just rolled out a “firm wide flexible dress code” JPMorgan's been tie-optional since 2016. So Lulu's thinking beyond its vinyasa gear to daily uniform options of a suit-free office future.


Healthcare's back in play... on markets and in DC. First, the Trump admin announced it's taking another shot at repealing the Affordable Care Act. Then one of the plan's largest providers, Centene, revealed it's acquiring WellCare for a healthy $15B.

Want key details on the deal?... We've got you fully covered:

  • One side booed, the other cheered: Shares of Centene fell 5%, likely because it paid 32% more than the share price of WellCare. For the same reason (but from the other side), WellCare shares jumped 12%.
  • Now the Justice Dep't gives a second opinion: Since the combined company would control a huge part of the Medicaid market, regulators will likely only bless the deal if one side hands off millions of enrollees to another provider. That would keep competition for health insurance strong. And that's what regulators want.

Politics = Business... WellCare and Centene's enrollment benefited hugely from the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid, the government health insurance for the poor. If the Trump admin completely upends the Affordable Care Act, at least WellCare and Centene will have a shoulder to cry on.


What's in the box?... A $1.1B queen-size. That's how much the OG direct-to-consumer mattress icon's worth thanks to a $100M injection of money from new, private investors. And we learned from a slide deck obtained by The Information that Casper Sleep might not be private so long — It's interviewing banks to advise a future IPO.

Some woke highlights from the slide deck... (which was intended for investors only):

  • Profitability isn't there yet: But losses are shrinking. Plus, Casper's expecting profits in 2019.
  • Growth is happening. Fast: Revenues rose 50% in 2018, and are expected to jump the same amount in 2019 and 2020.
  • Amazon's a non-factor: "Dog bed" through "King size" Caspers are all available on the everything store, but just 4% of sales last quarter were on Amazon. That means customers are going straight to Casper or its investor/retail partner Target. That helps the CEO sleep nice.

Brick and mortar retail's not dying... bad retail's dying. Casper's created a bunch of dreamy stores selling mattresses and 45-minute naps (for $25). It costs $650K to build each location, and according to the deck, the whole investment pays off in less than 2 years on average. That's fast. And it's why it wants 200 Casper stores by 2021.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Awkward: Grindr is up for sale by its Chinese owner because the US just declared the app a "national security risk"
  • Fresh: Walgreens will sell CBD creams, patches, and sprays at 1,500 stores
  • Chilled: Yeti shares just hit their all-time high — Up 70% in a month
  • Self-fired: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May promises she'll resign if her Brexit deal passes Parliament
  • Abate-hate: Facebook's banning white-nationalist and white separatist content
Snacks Daily Podcast

On the 15-minute Snacks Daily pod:

  • Boeing just proposed a fix to its 737 Max — But Southwest already canceled 9,400 flights.
  • More on Casper and Lulu.
  • Earnings from Accenture
  • 2-day US/China trade negotiations kick off

Corrections: Yesterday we mentioned the Boeing 787 Max – It's the 737 Max that was grounded and discussed at a Senate hearing. Disclosure: The author of this Snacks owns shares of Lululemon.

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