(July 9): More than eight years ago, I wrote a column for The Edge about athleisure firm Lululemon athletica, which had high margins, strong growth and a niche following. In apparel retailing, where margins are slim, technology is a disruptor, fixed costs are high and competition is fierce, Lululemon’s “differentiated” business model stood out. The stores of the Vancouver-based yoga-wear firm had become temples to the fledgling brand, where fans would try out stretch yoga pants, buy mats or tote bags and hang out with other yogis. I also noted at the time that Lululemon’s stock was starting to get Wall Street’s attention.

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