Representatives for Lululemon Detail Plans To Bring Entertainment to Newbury Street Store

Representatives for lululemon were on hand at the Monday, Feb. 6, virtual meeting of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay License and Building Use Committee to discuss their plans to seek an entertainment license from the city for the athletic-apparel retail chain’s Newbury Street location.

​Attorney Dennis Quilty said the proposed entertainment offerings would all take place on the store’s second floor, which is home to a café, along with a yoga workout area and small common area.

​The proposed entertainment programming would only take place between the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., said Quilty, with no events scheduled after 9 p.m.

​The second-floor space where entertainment offerings would take place has a capacity of less than 50 individuals, said Quilty, who added that the number is probably closer to 30.

​Moreover, the requested entertainment license would only apply only to lululemon, said Quilty, and it couldn’t be transferred to another applicant, who would have to go through the same process with the city to obtain their own entertainment license.

​No alcoholic beverages would be served at any of the proposed entertainment events, added Quilty.

If lululemon can secure an entertainment license for the space, possible entertainment offerings would include a deejay playing pre-recorded music to accompany yoga or exercise routines; a musician singing and playing an instrument; or a spoken-word performance, said Quilty.

​Laura Blanchard, director of operations for experiential stores at lululemon, said the company makes products for yoga, running, and “sometimes tennis,” so entertainment offerings would likely be programmed around those activities.

​Entertainment offerings also wouldn’t be unique to lululemon’s Boston location either, said Blanchard, since the company’s stores in other major North American cities, as well as in major cities globally, already program entertainment.

​Asked about the potential noise impact of entertainment offerings at the Newbury Street location, Blanchard said the second-floor space has no windows and is soundproofed.

​Entertainment offerings are also not expected to result in any excessive foot traffic or long queues outside the store, said Blanchard, since the events, both free and paid, would require advance registration “so we can manage capacity and who is coming.”

​Blanchard said lululemon would like to program entertainment events around the Boston Marathon, perhaps including a panel discussion.

​Representatives for lululemon’s Newbury Street location, including Attorney Quilty, appeared before the committee at its virtual monthly hearing on June 5 of last year when the store sought to legalize the existing second-floor café previously occupied by Nourish Your Soul juice bar. The committee didn’t oppose lululemon’s application at that time, and the applicant said then they would return to the committee in the future to discuss the specifics of their plans to acquire an entertainment license for the Newbury Street store.

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