Lululemon Athletica Inc., styled as lululemon athletica, is a self-described yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, which produces a clothing line and runs international clothing stores from its company base in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Dennis 'Chip' Wilson founded Lululemon Athletica (usually referred to simply as 'lululemon' or 'lulu') in 1998 in response to increased female participation in sports and in accordance with his belief in yoga as the optimal way to maintain athletic excellence into an advanced age. Wilson had previously made a foray into the sportswear business by setting up Westbeach Sports in 1979. Wilson opened the first Lululemon store in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano. It included a design studio, a retail store, and shared space with a yoga studio. As of October 2012, Lululemon runs approximately 165 stores.
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