Lululemon CEO on pandemic opportunities

"There is no doubt that there are still a ton of unsatisfied demand for a variety of the challenges that the pandemic created," McDonald said, speaking at the Reuters Next virtual conference on Thursday.

While there has been a boom in demand for 'athleisure' gear from increased remote working, McDonald predicted opportunities would continue to grow in 2021.

"I have seen a shift in what guests want, I believe it is sustainable, and we did not by any means satisfy the demand in 2020 that those shifts created," he said

"As people shift to more outdoor, going back to the office, which will happen in 2021, there is no doubt in my mind that the demand for our product and versatile apparel has a long opportunity of growth."

McDonald added that while it was down to individuals to choose, Lululemon's position was to "support and encourage" employees to be vaccinated.

Video Transcript

CALVIN MCDONALD: Look at the overall growth of apparel in 2020, there is no doubt that there are still a ton of unsatisfied demand for a variety of the challenges that the pandemic created-- closing of stores, easy access to physical retail. And although online has done incredibly well, we know there are still a large number of guests that are physical store shoppers only. So I have seen a shift in what guests want. I believe it is sustainable. And we did not by any means satisfy the demand in 2020 that those shifts will create as opportunity.

And as people shift back to more outdoor, going back to the office, which will happen in '21, there is no doubt in my mind that the opportunity demand for our product and for versatile apparel has a long opportunity of growth ahead of us. And that is what we're continuing to lean in. I do not believe that there was a pull forward. I think there is a demand that even Lululemon wasn't able to fully satisfy. And we see a strong opportunity '21 and beyond.

Our position is we will support, we encourage our teams to be vaccinated. It is a choice, but we encourage it. And our health benefits ensures that in all markets, if it's not covered locally, then it's covered by the benefit program of the organization. So we're encouraging it and making sure that we are communicating so that our employees know what the available options are.