(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Lululemon Athletica Inc. is stretching itself into a new area of business. The seller of yoga pants and other workout apparel announced late Monday that it had agreed to acquire Mirror, a home-fitness product offering live and on-demand classes as well as personal training, for $500 million. Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald has said that the startup expects to notch more than $100 million in sales this year and is on track to break even or earn a narrow profit next year.  

This deal, of course, does little to boost the top line sales for a company that had $4 billion in revenue last year.  But it is a worthwhile way for Lululemon to test its ability to move beyond its core retailing expertise. 

After securing at least $72 million in venture funding and winning some celebrity devotees, Mirror had long been thought of as a potentially powerful disruptor in the fitness business. But now that the pandemic has pushed legions of consumers to explore at-home exercise, its prospects look even brighter. It seems likely that gyms and boutique fitness studios – places where people do lots of heavy breathing in close quarters – will be among the last establishments consumers feel comfortable returning to as the economy reopens. This will be especially true if we see more reports like one earlier this week that a patron to a Planet Fitness gym in West Virginia may have exposed more than 200 people to the novel coronavirus.  In other words, the total addressable market for the Mirror has suddenly exploded.   

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