The spread of Coronavirus is forcing the fashion industry to shift its priorities, as sales plummet and production slows. That means mass layoffs, furloughs and more discounts. And if you think sportswear and loungewear might be in the clear, with people working from home and adopting new fitness routines, you would be wrong.

Lululemon ($LULU) is among the many brands taking a massive hit. Since the beginning of April, the company slashed job listings by 28%. The stock is down more than 13% this year - a disappointing return, but far from the declines of broader market benchmarks, putting Lululemon ahead of some competitors in a disastrous first half for investors. 

In January, Lulu had 1,060 items on sale. The company has been working to decrease that number— fewer items on sale means greater income. By the end of March, after a brief surge with the start of quarantine, the count of items on sale had dropped 34%. Now, it’s back up 39%, climbing to where it began. 

With fewer people buying Lulu leggings, there are fewer people talking about buying Lulu leggings. The brand’s Facebook mentions peaked at the beginning of the month and has since plummeted 60%.

The spike in engagement coincided with Lululemon announcing its “Move & Stay Connected” challenge, which kicked off at the beginning of this week. People are encouraged to track their at-home workouts via the social-fitness app Strava and follow along with Lulu’s Instagram Live exercise classes.

A branded fitness challenge might not send people rushing to spend their stimulus check on new sports bras. But it could set the company up for success in the future.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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