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Year 1990: The fast fashion trend exploded around the globe, altered purchasing

perspectives, and perpetuated the consumption and waste of clothing goods. Year 2018: “The

clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world… second only to oil” (Sweeny,

2015). Facing the public scrutiny associated with these statistics, apparel brands are reevaluating

personal sustainability initiatives. According to America’s Cotton Producers, buying sustainable

apparel is lowest in the U.S. at 67% disinterest (2018). This lack of priority for sustainability is

not a sentiment that persists around the world, however. Sweden declared its ambition to,

“become world-leading in sustainable fashion,” (Mistra, 2017) and Australia is in the midst of a

“sustainable fashion movement” (Doyle, 2018).

Amid a growing pollutant crisis, and a lack of market motivation to accompany it in the

United States, retailers would be wise to take advantage of the international appetite for

sustainability. WWD observes that “Tapping into emerging markets and balancing their

businesses to avoid total dependence on the U.S. market is critical strategy for long-term

expansion” (n.d.). Brands must also, however, take a careful approach when selecting the chosen

market of expansion. Virginia Pittarelli states that when brands are looking to expand they must

focus on products that are transferable to other markets (Schram, 2018). ALPHA LTD, echoes

Pittarelli by saying, “Going global never means watering down the brand… It means walking a

fine line between respecting the culture and language of the new market and holding fast to what

makes the brand different” (2017). Alo Yoga has an opportunity to globally expand, without

sacrificing their brand identity, by seeking out markets that align with their ideals and are

conducive to company growth.

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Alo Yoga, a Los Angeles based retailer founded in 2007, stands behind the meaning of

“inspiring mindful movement leading to better living” (ALO, 2018). The founders, Danny Harris

and Marco DeGeorge, wanted to create yoga clothing transformable from the mat to the street,

encompassing contemporary use and comfort (Figure 1). Since 2007, the brand has acquired a

loyal customer base with the same values as the company: mindfulness, minimization of social

and ecological footprint, healthy lifestyles, and a massive social media following (SooHoo,

2017). The company’s strategies to stand out in a billion-dollar athleisure market are as follows:

distinctive branding, relationships with other businesses and social influencers, real customer

photos on site, and clear evergreen hashtags. Given that Alo already has a significant athleisure

presence in the United States, expanding globally is a logical growth strategy going forward.

Companies with successful global expansion stories use different approaches to ensure the brand

identity of the company is carried through and correctly fits the new expansion segment. Nike

and Lululemon lead as successful examples of global expansion in the retail industry.

Figure 1. SWOT Analysis

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Alo’s competitor brands, Nike and Lululemon, both successfully expanded into the

global retail market. Nike’s product innovation, unique marketing, and balanced distribution

strategies have been vital to their successful global expansion (Hottovy, 2016). Nike approaches

each new international country with a different marketing strategy that “incorporates geographic,

cultural, and societal norms of that region” says Hottovy. In January of 2018 Nike starting

selling Nike Pro Hijabs in twenty different countries across Europe and the Middle East

(Stanglin, 2017). When expanding to the Middle East, Nike shows an excellent example of

catering their products to the culture in each country of expansion, but remaining true to the

original intention of the brand. By creating an athletic Hijab Nike hopes to “inspire women and

girls there who still face barriers and limited access to sport” (Stanglin, 2017). These tactics

reiterate the idea of a company remaining true to their own identity while finding ways to

effectively connect with a new segment of customers.

Similar strategies have been utilized in the successful global expansion of Lululemon.

The Canadian based company, started in 1998, has since expanded into 14 different countries

(Lululemon, 2018). The powerhouse brand’s innovative products, differentiation strategies, and

competitive advantage drive success in their international segments. Lululemon creates a loyal

community around their brand with programs such as “Sweat Collective,” launched in February

of 2018. Members are active “leaders of sweat” within their community, including roles of

personal trainers, fitness instructors, and athletic professionals (Quiroz, 2018). Lululemon offers

special perks such as discounts to sweat collective members to thank them for their leadership.

“Sweat Collective” is just one example of Lululemon’s marketing strategies allowing for success

in a new global market. Lululemon remains authentic to their brand identity while also engaging

customers in interactive experiences and programs, enabling for the launch of global success.

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As Alo Yoga continues to show success in sales, brand identity, and loyal customer

following the opportunity to approach a new international territory is now. With deep roots in

mindful living and sustainability, Australia is the ideal market for Alo to enter. Alo’s brand

symmetry with that of the Australian consumer allows the company to enter the market

seamlessly. The Report confirms, “Australians are ethical shoppers, who are willing to invest in

sustainable brands” (Cummins, 2017). Australian consumers prioritize healthy lifestyles and

value brands with a story and meaning behind their products. According to the Australian

Retailers Association, “87% of Australian shoppers ages 18-22 prefer shopping in-store and view

shopping as a social experience” (Kirkland, 2018) (Figure 2). Transparent and authentic

approaches to business are also a top selling point to consumers. Alo’s expansion to Australia

provides a unique opportunity to grow within a market segment whose identity complements

their own while retaining a strong sense of authenticity.

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Figure 2. Stats on Australia 5
GROUNDED, is a thirteen-piece yoga apparel collection encompassing the ideals of

sustainable, transparent, and authentic quality. The collection partners with Taiwanese company,

Singtex, innovating fabric production from used coffee grounds. The patented yarn, S.Cafe®,

uses “an energy saving process, combining coffee grounds onto the yarn surface, changing the

characteristics of the filament, and offering 200% faster drying time compared to cotton”

(Singtex, 2018). The textile procedure offers fabrication benefits as well as recycles a product

that would otherwise be thrown away (Appendix A). While interviewing Lisa Zoet, President of

CFL Sourcing, she mentioned past partnerships with Singtex saying, “It’s expensive…so the key

component is making sure the consumers understand what they’re purchasing” (Myself, Personal

Communication, 2018). Product transparency is critical to success. Singtex shows past co-

branding success stories of their S.Cafe fabric with companies such as The North Face and

Timberland (Singtex, 2018). Zoet further explained key sourcing strategies for Alo to produce in

Asia and sell in Australia (Appendix A). Integrating sustainable S.Cafe® fabrics into the

GROUNDED collection reinforces Alo’s values of “mindful movement leading to better living,”

while appealing to the identified target market of Australia.

Australian consumers prioritize brands with ethical practices and a meaning behind their

clothing—GROUNDED caters to both. The collection is not only geared towards individuals

practicing yoga, but also those wanting to invest in a meaningful brand. During an interview with

store associate at Alo’s NYC flagship store, Alison, she noted about half of the customers are

yogis, but the other half are actually international travelers (Myself, Personal Communication,

2018). Alison mentioned Alo has never offered a sustainable fabric collection before, but the

topic is definitely on their consumer’s radar and becoming a higher priority. The GROUNDED

collection provides a sustainable set with deep meaning embedded, perfectly targeting the new

international Australian market.

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GROUNDED is inspired by those who move mindfully and live consciously. Crafted

with intention, the collection comprises a sustainable textile process equal parts creative and

resourceful. Oriented around mindful movement, the collection features a range of athletic

apparel that can be transformed “from the mat to the street.” Design elements of simplistic lines,

geometric shaping, and muted earth tones create an aesthetically appealing collection functioning

just as well as it fits. GROUNDED consists of thirteen separates allowing for mixing and

matching based on their muted tones and transitional silhouettes. Adjusted size standards are

applied to ensure this collection is friendly to all sizes. Earth tones paired with the structure of

bare materials found within the world are represented throughout each ensemble, catering

towards Australian trends in athleisure. Innovative textiles made from used coffee grounds and

modern technical construction methods create pieces of high quality with intentional care.

Inspiration from the world grounded below and all around is showcased throughout the organic

print design, mixing soft elements with a splash of fresh eclectic vibe (Figure 3).

Figure 3.
Print Design

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The story of GROUNDED all starts around the idea of creating a clothing line that means

more than just buying a new pair of leggings. Taking a simple waste product such as used coffee

grounds, and giving it a second life creates a thoughtful product for mindful living. With Alo

Yoga expanding into Australia, the desire for sustainable clothing has never been more

prevalent. With specific marketing tactics, Alo Yoga will first gain brand awareness in the new

market of Australia through the use of on-line Instragram stories and posts, social media

influencers, and personalized invitations to the grand opening months prior to the event

(Appendix B). Once consumers become interested and aware of the brand, several in-store

experiences will promote foot traffic into the new physical store location. A specified portion of

the store floor plan will be built around merchandising the GROUNDED collection. This display

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will show the story behind the collection through promotional videos, a hands-on display of

Singtex’s coffee ground fiber technology, and a personalized yoga mat station (Appendix C).

Alo will also incorporate all of its current in-store experience strategies such as a coffee shop,

lounge area, and in-house yoga studio (ALO, 2018). In order to compete with current yoga

studios in the area, Alo will offer a free class with each first purchase of an article from the

GROUNDED collection. The integration of personalized and informative in-store experiences

will quickly attract customers to the collection debut while gaining long-term brand loyalty for

customer’s new go-to spot to shop, eat, study, and practice yoga at.

GROUNDED will only debut in Alo’s new flagship store in Sydney, Australia, but

become available online and in other select US stores one month after its initial launch. This

marketing tactic encourages customers to come into the store to see what the excitement is about,

physically experience the collection, and most of all instill brand meaning and loyalty. This

promotes in-store traffic in Australia while also giving Alo the opportunity to test out the

sustainable based collection first in a consumer region prone to investing more in sustainable

products.

With the opportunity for U.S. based brands to expand globally and sustainability

becoming a higher priority worldwide, GROUNDED will be the start of a successful expansion

story for Alo Yoga. From initial inspiration to Alo’s unique brand identity to advanced fiber

technology, GROUNDED interlaces each component pertinent to brand success. Grounded

within sustainable roots, the collection joins together mindful movement with conscious living to

create clothing instilled with meaning and intention. For the dreamers, the doers, the yogis, the

ones who believe they can do their little part to better our world, GROUNDED is made for you.

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Alo Yoga. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.aloyoga.com

ALPHA LTD. (2017, April). How the Top 5 Fashion & Apparel Brands went Global.

Retrieved from https://www.thisisalpha.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/

America’s Cotton Producers. (2018, Mar. 1). In Apparel, It’s Fast Fashion Versus

Sustainability. Retrieved from https://lifestylemonitor.cottoninc.com

Australian Securities & Investments Commission. (2018, Mar. 15). Australian Spending

Habits. Retrieved from https://www.moneysmart.gov.au

Cummins, C. (2017, April 4). Gen Z attracted to social bricks and mortar shops. The

Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies

Doyle, M. (2018, Mar. 21). Sustainable Fashion Takes Charge in Australia. Business of

Fashion. Retrieved from https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/global-currents/inside-

australias-sustainable-fashion-moment

Hottovy, R. (2016, Dec. 29). Nike Is An Underappreciated Global Growth Story.

Morning Star. Retrieved from https://www.morningstar.com/articles

Kirkland, M. (2018, May 15). Shopping with the current and future generations.

Australian Retailers Association. Retrieved from http://blog.retail.org.au/newsandinsights

Lululemon. (2018). Retrieved from https://shop.lululemon.com

Mistra Future Fashion. (2017, June 1). Sweden as Role Model Country for Sustainable

Fashion. Retrieved from http://mistrafuturefashion.com

Quiroz, M. (2018, Jan. 8). A Growth Strategy for Lululemon. Medium Corporation.

Retrieved from https://medium.com/@michaelangelo_q/a-growth-strategy-for-lululemon-

68819680e511

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Schneiderman, M. (2017). 6 Businesses with Success in China (and How They Did It).

Btrax. Retrieved from https://blog.btrax.com

Schram, L. (2018, Mar. 8). Euro Retailers Sense Opportunity Here While US Brands

Look to Old World for Salvation. Commercial Observer. Retrieved from

https://commercialobserver.com

Singtex. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.singtex.com/en-global/home

Soo Hoo, F. (2017, Mar 28). How Alo Yoga Became an Instagirl Favorite Without Really

Trying. Fashionista. Retrieved from https://fashionista.com/2017/03/alo-yoga

Stanglin, D. (2017, Dec. 20). Nike begins selling sports hijab for Muslin female athletes.

USA Today. Retreived from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/12/20/nike-

begins-selling-sports-hijab-muslim-female-athletes/970226001/

Sweeny, G. (2015, Aug. 17). Fast Fashion Second Dirtiest Industry. Eco Watch.

Retrieved https://www.ecowatch.com/fast-fashion

Women’s Wear Daily. (n.d.). Brand Expansion: The Year Ahead. Retrieved from

https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/brand-expansion-the-year-ahead-2437624/

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Figure 5. S.Cafe Fabrication Qualities
GROUNDED partnered with

S.Cafe creates a fabric fit for Alo Yoga.

Embedded coffee grounds absorb odor, are

fast drying, offer UV protection, and are

cooling to the touch, as described on the

hangtags (Figure 4). Singtex tested these

qualities to other fabrications, finding the

results to be superior (Figure 5). The

different types of S.Cafe yarns integrated

into GROUNDED are listed below (Figure

6, S.Cafe, 2018).

Figure 6. S.Cafe Yarn Types


Fabric production takes place at Singtex’s headquarter facilities in

Taiwan. Limited release of the collection tests the market viability to

prevent overinvesting. Zoet said China works best for manufacturing using

print dye that also needs to be produced in smaller amounts (Myself,

Personal Communication, 2018). From there, the produced clothing would

be shipped straight to Sydney, Australia to avoid an importation fee

into the United States. This allows for faster response time

and lower costs for Alo Yoga.

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Figure 4. GROUNDED Hangtags 15
Online marketing strategies promote brand

awareness prior to launching in Sydney,

Australia. Instagram posts on Alo’s page

appeal to the target market customer because of

convenience and reachability, 1.4 million

followers to be exact. Alo already has a strong

relationship with brand influencer, Sjana Elise,

who also happens to be an Aussie native.

Spreading the word about Alo’s debut to a

broader audience through the use of Instagram

Figure 7. Instagram Posts Stories, like Sjana’s, creates an authentic and

reliable marketing tactic (Figure 7).

To further create excitement and awareness of Alo to Australia, a grand opening event

will be held at the Sydney, Australia flagship store. By clicking on the link in Alo’s Instagram

bio, Australian customers are able to receive a personalized invitation via email. Details of the

grand opening event are noted on the invite below (Figure 8).
Figure 8. Email Invitation

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In-store merchandising of the GROUNDED collection

facilitates a story as well as immersing all the senses of the

customer. These interactive experiences drive foot traffic into the

store while gaining a loyal consumer following for a potentially

unfamiliar brand. A specified area of the floor plan will feature

the collection at the front and center of the store. Built around the

collection will be iPad stations featuring the promo videos (Scan

to view in Figure 9) of GROUNDED as well as informative slides

on Singtex’s coffee ground textile process (Figure 10).

Figure 10. Singtex info slides to be featured on store iPads Figure 9. Promo video created by
Me, 2018: Scan QR code to view

Another aspect of in-

store merchandising for the

GROUNDED collection will

be a personalized yoga mat

station. Customers can

purchase or bring in their own

mat to be painted with yoga

mantras meaningful to them. This creates a hands on store experience and also gives customers a

sense of personalized touch (Figure 11).

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Figure 11. Personalized Yoga Mat 17