From Lululemon to Birkenstock, duplicate types lure vacation customers, ET Retail

From Lululemon to Birkenstock, duplicate types lure vacation customers, ET Retail

By Katherine MastersNEW YORK: Lauren Maginness is a fan of Lululemon. However the 31-year-old product marketer in New York Metropolis is more and more supplementing her activewear with less-pricey model duplicates she picks up by means of e-commerce website

One among her favorites: CRZ Yoga’s $32 high-waisted yoga pants, resembling Lululemon’s standard $98 Align leggings. Maginness realized about CRZ from an influencer on short-video platform TikTok who describes herself as a former Lululemon worker.

As the vacation buying season will get below means, top-sellers from Lululemon, Abercrombie & Fitch, Birkenstock and Estee Lauder’s Tom Ford fragrance are competing for customers like Maginness and their rising love affair with TikTok-popularized “dupes” – sufficiently comparable replicas of higher-priced merchandise.

CRZ Yoga is doing brisk enterprise, promoting a mean 88,633 pairs of the leggings a month and incomes round $2.84 million in common month-to-month income, in accordance with information from e-commerce analytics agency Jungle Scout. CRZ, which in accordance with its web site is owned by a Hong Kong buying and selling firm, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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Rising demand for lookalike merchandise, coupled with a pullback in spending attributable to inflation, is chopping in to gross sales of some fashionable, big-name merchandise. “Dupes” have develop into so extensively accepted, significantly amongst youthful shoppers, that Maginness mentioned she would take into account gifting a faux-Lululemon activewear set to a buddy. “In any case, you do have extra room within the price range with the dupe,” she mentioned.

Hashtag searches for dupes of main manufacturers – together with Skims underwear and Deckers’ Ugg boots – have been considered tens of millions of instances on TikTok. Influencers accepting commissions usually tout comparable, alternate merchandise from worth retailers comparable to Walmart, Goal and perfume e-tailer File.Final week, “Passionate Penny Pincher,” a reduction weblog that accepts commissions for gross sales, touted $29.99 Dearfoam shearling “Ugg dupe slippers” as vacation presents in an e-mail to followers. Division retailer chain Nordstrom pitched unique “Ugg slippers on everybody’s present record” for $115.

Dupes have develop into so extensively accessible from such a broad vary of sellers that consultants say it’s troublesome to quantify how a lot market share they could steal from the unique merchandise this vacation season. Most in danger are brand-name perfumes, cosmetics and mid-tier clothes and footwear, significantly these “commodity” merchandise which can be simple to copy, mentioned Leslie Ghize, govt vp of retail consulting agency Doneger Tobe.

Twenty-eight p.c of U.S. shoppers mentioned they plan to offer a magnificence product comparable to fragrance as a vacation present and 55% plan to offer clothes, sneakers or equipment, in accordance with a survey of three,429 individuals by Circana Inc.

Lululemon, whose income rose 18% within the second quarter in contrast with a yr earlier, launched a two-day “dupe swap” promotion in Los Angeles in Could the place customers may commerce lookalikes for Align leggings. Lululemon declined to remark. Chief Government Officer Calvin McDonald instructed traders in June that roughly half of customers who attended the dupe swap have been below 30 and new to Lululemon.


Specialists say the present pleasure over dupes traces again to the beginning of quick vogue. Inditex-owned Zara, which opened its first retailer in 1975, made a enterprise of replicating luxurious designs. Its shorter manufacturing cycles allowed extra types to enter the market rapidly, sparking “the behavior of buying extra regularly,” mentioned Ian Taplin, a professor at Wake Forest College.

E-commerce platforms Amazon, eBay, Shopify and Etsy helped dupe gross sales speed up, by making it simple to check costs on comparable items. Newer applied sciences just like the Google Lens app enable individuals to take photographs of things they like and discover comparable merchandise on the market.

For potential dupe-makers, the Chinese language market Alibaba makes it easy to seek out and rent producers. Some producers use the identical supplies and materials as big-name manufacturers, mentioned Juozas Kaziukenas, founding father of e-commerce analytics agency Market Pulse.

In different circumstances, dupe sellers decide to copy the look of higher-priced originals with cheaper supplies to maximise revenue.

Both means, sellers on buying platforms like Amazon sometimes wouldn’t have the identical overhead prices as retailers with brick-and-mortar areas, permitting them to deliver items to customers extra cheaply. “They may not be precisely the identical, however they are much cheaper,” Kaziukenas mentioned.

Thirty to 49% of customers have been disillusioned with “dupes” bought on-line, in accordance with a survey of three,000 millennial and Gen-Z shoppers performed by client overview platform Trustpilot throughout the U.S., UK and Italy.

Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti mentioned the corporate doesn’t enable its sellers to make use of the phrases “dupe,” “faux” or “fake” linked to a model title when describing their merchandise on the location. Nonetheless, it can’t all the time sustain with sellers who violate the rule, in accordance with Mike Scheschuk, president of small and medium enterprise at Jungle Scout.

As of final Wednesday, a number of merchandise accessible on Amazon appeared to violate the coverage, together with a pair of clogs listed as “dupes” of a well-liked model by Birkenstock and priced greater than $100 under than the unique.

A spokesperson for Birkenstock mentioned it “takes the problem of brand name and product piracy very critically” and takes a “rigorous method” to defending its mental property. Nonetheless, consultants say dupe sellers have grown more and more expert at avoiding model logos and different design options that might infringe current patents or copyrights.

(Reporting by Katherine Masters in New York Further reporting by Dorothy Kam in Hong Kong Modifying by Vanessa O’Connell, Rod Nickel and Matthew Lewis)

  • Revealed On Nov 21, 2023 at 08:18 AM IST

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