Lululemon Athletica

The popular athletic-apparel chain fits well in the Mall of America's shiny new south wing

You don’t have to spend much time at the Mall of America’s new lululemon store to realize this place is peddling more than high-priced athletic apparel—it’s selling a lifestyle. Stylish mothers clad in the cult-classic Groove pant wander the store with small children in tow, while the remarkably cheerful and fit “educators” (as lululemon calls its salespeople) occasionally break into yoga poses or spin a hula-hoop with a smile. The feel-good vibe might be eerie if it weren’t so infectious.

The MOA outpost is the second Minnesota store for the popular “yoga-inspired” chain, which in just 10 years has grown from a small Vancouver shop to 100-plus stores and showrooms in four countries. That meteoric rise hasn’t come without a few detractors, but for every person who gripes about high prices, there’s an even more passionate lulu loyalist who swears by the signature Luon fabric’s ability to make her rear end look nice.

If you’ve been to the lululemon at The Shops at West End, the MOA one will feel familiar. All the fan favorites are here: the beloved yoga pants, the colorful tanks organized by degree of support, the cushy hoodies emblazoned with the brand’s logo, plus a smaller selection of items for male yogis and runners. The educators are highly knowledgeable and very happy to walk you through all the product details, from the buttery feel of the fabrics to the secret iPod pockets to the thumbholes in the sleeves of running shirts. By the time you leave, it’s easy to imagine how good your new lulu-clad life could be, nicely toned rear end and all.  952-854-6785; also at The Shops at West End, 763-545-9069