Alo Yoga is betting that consumers will want to buy leggings and a moisturizer from the same brand.
The direct-to-consumer brand, best known for its sportswear, is expanding its product portfolio with the launch of Alo Glow System, a skin care line. It debuts with five products, starting with the essentials of any skincare regimen: cleanser, serum, moisturizer, shower gel, and body oil.
At first glance, the move may seem unexpected to Alo – its product line consists almost entirely of sportswear or accessories directly related to yoga practice, like mats or blocks. But the move is more in line with thinking about Alo as a wellness brand, rather than just sporty, according to Danny Harris, co-founder and CEO of Alo Yoga.
“We firmly believe that what you put on your body is as important or more important than what you put on your body,” Harris said. “If we were like a conventional sports company, you would probably prefer more conventional sports accessories. But we’re more about mindfulness and presence. A natural progression for us, I believe, is in the beauty space.
Alo, which was founded in 2007, has already expanded a bit beyond its core products, into the wellness area in the past. For example, on his website, he sells a small selection of mala meditation beads. But the launch of the Glow System represents an entirely new category for the brand. (After all, beads are still wearable.)
It’s a good time for Alo’s expansion, however, considering it’s been a good year to get started in making comfortable clothes. When Home Orders were first implemented in March, comfy clothing like leggings and sweatshirts shifted from everyday to everyday wear. And Alo Yoga is one of the brands that has benefited from this change. Alo recorded a 123% increase in total revenue since 2019; in digital, its activity has quadrupled from year to year.
The development of the company paved the way for its well-equipped emergence for this time. This positioning went beyond Alo’s comfortable clothing line: in 2017, he acquired Cody, a yoga class streaming platform, and renamed it Alo Moves. So when gyms closed at the start of the pandemic, Alo found himself in a good position to take advantage of this shift in demand. Today, Alo Moves subscriptions are multiplied by seven from year to year.
Leaving aside Alo’s successes in adjusting to the pressures of the past few months, it should be noted that the Glow System was in the works long before the pandemic set in – two years, in fact, according to Harris. The product came from an internal team who aimed to find the right ingredients for healthy skin. The process ultimately led the team to focus on antioxidants.
The expansion in skin care is not about silos the two sides of the business, but rather to integrate them, Harris said. From a brand identity perspective, showing off moisturizer and a pair of leggings side by side in marketing materials completes a larger picture of what Alo is.
“When we think of the Alo brand, we think of it as a badge of wellness and mindfulness and we say ‘this alternative lifestyle is important to me’,” he said. “And that includes a lot of things, beauty as well as yoga.”
Alo is also a brand that has built an online community. Besides Alo Moves, 90% of its sales come from digital channels. Admittedly, its social media presence is robust, with 2.8 million followers on Instagram, a particularly high figure for a brand of its size. To put that number into perspective, athleisure giant Lululemon has 3.4 million subscribers and nearly 500 stores. Alo only has nine physical storefronts. Harris said he believes the community is engaged enough with the brand to follow Alo wherever it leads, whether it’s a new yoga-centric product or skin care.