Is the Vineyard ready to sweat in style?
Lululemon Athletica, the yoga-inspired apparel chain, will test the proposition this summer with a four-month pop-up store on South Summer street in Edgartown.
The store opened its doors on Friday morning, and Lululemon regional manager Julie Samford and Briana Endicott, assistant manager for the Vineyard pop-up, were on hand to greet the first customers. Days earlier they had constructed tables, fixtures and dressing rooms. “All built by hand,” Ms. Samford said. A lobster trap Ms. Endicott found at her cousin’s house added a bit of Vineyard style to the light, airy space.
The store can be found at 11 South Summer, a small, boxy building with oversized windows on the commercial end of the street opposite the town parking lot. The building has housed a variety of retail operations in recent summers, including a Black Dog store and a jewelry shop.
Lululemon comes to the Island by request, Ms. Samford told the Gazette. “There was a request to open up a store here on Martha’s Vineyard,” she said. “People who shop at the Hingham store always say that it would be great to have a Lululemon on the Vineyard. So here we are. It’s unique to us that the community asked for us.”
Already she said the reception has been warm. “People are coming in and just telling us how excited they are that we are open. It’s been really great,” she said, adding: “Our focus for the summer is to really be with the community and learn from them, sweat from them, and really just have fun.”
The first sale was a pink headband. “It was really cute. The first customers were a mother and daughter. They were so excited,” Ms. Samford said.
Ms. Endicott is one of two managers who will run the store this summer, along with three other employees. “We’ve already had a couple people come in and say they are interested in working here part time,” she said on Friday, after the store had only been open for a couple of hours. “It’s really great. It’s what we are all about, working with the community.”
On that same note, Ms. Samford said: “We are going to do things with the community. We want to partner with local businesses. Running, yoga, CrossFit . . . We do a lot of goal coaching: personal career and health. And part of that is celebrating our life and enjoying all aspects of it, and we intend on sharing that with the community here.”
Lululemon has over 175 stores of different sizes open all over the world. All stores offer free hemming services and each product purchased is bagged in trademark black, red and white reusable bags with sayings on them such as: “Friends are more important than money” and “Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.”
Ms. Samford said the Vineyard location will have its own unique feel. One difference, she said, is that the Lululemon in Edgartown will not accept cash. “Credit cards only,” she said.
As of late last week, the store had not yet made decisions regarding hours of operation. “We’re going to gauge it off the community and the surrounding stores,” Ms. Samford said. “We’re very flexible.”