As the appeal of at-home workouts has become more ubiquitous during the pandemic, Lululemon, the athletic apparel company, is going all in on the craze.
The company said Monday that it has entered into an agreement to buy home exercise startup Mirror for $500 million. The startup sells an immersive mirror through which customers can participate in fitness classes and personal training sessions.
In a statement, Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said the company looks forward to working with Mirror to “accelerate the growth of personalized in-home fitness.”
Mirror, which launched in September 2018 and has raised $72 million from investors including Lululemon, is one of several companies changing the fitness landscape by making it easy for anyone to engage in live or on-demand interactive workout classes from the comfort of their home — with a substantial price tag. Mirror costs nearly $1,500 before tax and installation fees, plus ongoing subscription fees of $39 per month (for up to six people in a household) to access its on-demand or live classes. Personal training sessions run an additional $40 each.
While taking classes like cardio workouts, yoga and boxing, customers can see key metrics like their heartbeats-per-minute (or BPM) and calories burned. The device, which is controlled by an app on your phone, comes with fitness bands, a stand and a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor.
In a conversation shortly before at-home fitness company Peloton went public last fall, Mirror founder and CEO Brynn Putnam told CNN Business her company is taking a “different approach than the competition.”
Putnam explained that she’s building a product that can flex as trends change. Mirror wants to be “the third screen in your life,” she said at the time. In other words, it’s more about the ability to connect with consumers in their homes with ease than it is about the particular application.
Putnam, a former dancer for the New York City Ballet, in 2010 opened a boutique fitness studio inside of a church in Manhattan. Called Refine Method, the studio’s workouts focused on full-body, high-intensity interval training. It was space that Putnam could afford, but she had to install custom-built equipment that could be removed weekly for Sunday morning services and rebuilt again shortly after.
Putnam came up with the idea for Mirror after she struggled to fit workout classes into her schedule as a pregnant entrepreneur. Simultaneously, she noticed how much customers at Refine Method loved working out alongside mirrors. She sought to blend the two concepts.
Putnam told CNN Business last fall that the startup expected to expand into other aspects of life, including health, fashion and beauty. “Fitness is just one of the many content experiences in the home,” she said at the time.
The startup went on to partner with Lululemon to begin expanding its content. Together, the two companies brought meditation classes to the platform after Lululemon invested in the startup last year.
Lululemon said Mirror will operate as a standalone firm, with Putnam as CEO and reporting into McDonald once the transaction is complete.