Friday, March 22, 2013

Lululemon’s Latest Problem Revealed


While I do love Lululemon, the news this week hasn’t exactly been flattering. After numerous complaints from customers, the yoga clothing line came clean with a not-so-great admission: some of their black Luon women’s pants were made just a tad too sheer. Okay, quite a bit too sheer, actually.

Lululemon built a loyal customer base by creating a community based around health, fitness, and happiness.
Lululemon makes getting fit fun & communal
Image from nymag.com
Right now, it’s unclear how the mistake came about. But it is clear that women doing yoga in the pants were rather unhappy when they found out their pants were fairly transparent while practicing any number of yoga stretches and positions. The company has recalled the line, pulling the pants from its stores and offering full refunds or exchanges to women who have purchased them.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first issue Lululemon has had with sheerness in the past year. Their stock, which has skyrocketed in the past three years, took a 5% dip on Tuesday when the recall was issued. The recall of the pants will also cause their profits to take a significant dip for the quarter.

Lululemon built a loyal customer base by creating a community based around health, fitness, and happiness.
Image from lululemon.com
But the main problem here is the potential loss of loyal customers. So many women and men have come to love the brand, which, although a little pricey, has a strong mission and ideals. Hopefully this flub up won’t lose them too many customers.

It’s certainly frustrating that a mistake on this grand of a scale could happen because of what appears to be a lack of proper oversight in its overseas factories. But one thing Lululemon does have going in its favor (besides the large customer base) is its friendly, fun appeal to anyone wanting to live a healthy lifestyle.

What makes it so? It’s in everything from the company’s many inspiring phrases found on its website, bags and more (“run against the grain, take the road less travelled,” “Breathe deeply,” “Friends are more important than money”) to its colorful and exciting lines of exercise clothes.
Lululemon's manifesto is inspiring and close to our hearts. It tells us to love, that friends are more important than money, and provides inspiration.
Lululemon's inspiring manifesto
Image from lululemon.com

Lululemon makes it fashionable to be fit and living a healthy life, and it makes people feel connected to each other—just like I feel connected to all of the other fitness and health bloggers I find on social media sites. Lululemon offers free yoga classes in its stores, connects customers with qualified yoga instructors, and generally cultivates a sense of community.

And business flub up or not, that makes them one of the few retailers who do.
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