Lululemon has a problem. And it’s the customers’ fault.
They’re too trendy and we allowed it to happen. Oh, right – and they’re terrible at apologizing, need a new PR team, and really need to just stop talking. But they’ll blame all that on us too.
I buy my yoga gear from Lucy. I like Lucy, they had free classes on Fridays on Montana in Santa Monica (cardio hulahooping, anyone?) and they always give me 20% off. Good, because I spend a lot of money there. Plus, they have great sales.
Lucy – as much I love it is not Lululemon. Recently, I walked into a very crowded Lulu on a normal Saturday and then passed a not so crowded Lucy. Lululemon started a trend. Lulu was smart, they paid yoga teachers to wear their gear and encourage their students to pick up the latest mat/pants/headband that would help you achieve inner peace. This trend was so powerful that people seemed to not even notice the price tag. The most important thing became to be seen wearing anything with a stylized U. Unfortunately, Lulu took advantage of this and sold poor quality clothing. So what were we paying for?
I own 3 pieces of lulu. My cousin gave me a lulu top for Christmas. It fits perfectly and has a place for my ipod. Super cute with a little see through panel to show off some midriff. And surprisingly, I got over that quite quickly. Then, I went to their sale and picked up a bra. Worst sports bra ever. It’s for low impact, but is flimsy and tight in the wrong places, especially with my larger chest. I was there, it was the only item on sale for my size – I bought it. I was young and wanted to walk into my trendy, lulu-fest, Manhattan Beach yoga studio looking like the rest of them. I walked into class and wanted to shout, “I’m super cool too, I have lulu on under this tank!”
This year, my boyfriend bought me a pink lulu hoodie, size 6. I live in this sweatshirt (now it’s sad and stained but I love it) It’s thick, soft, and I can tell it’s high quality. So of course, I would expect the rest of their items to be of similar caliber. Especially with their price tags.
I never once equated lulu to cheap or plus size. Looking at their ads (both print and the walking ads aka girls) all over the city, you should never expect them to be plus-friendly or low-cost. They chose to never include 12+ and we as consumers chose to be ok with that.
Not cheap, not inclusive – fine, but not quality? Not ok. They messed up and did not deliver on expectations. Fine. It happens. How do they respond? By blaming the customers.
A size 4? With money? Our perfect customer. Issues with our clothes? Your fault.
They’ve also started pushing luon. It’s in my Facebook news feed everyday. “Here’s the quality fabric we should have given you from the start.”
They may have lost some customers from all of this. But at the end of the day, it’s too ate, there is already a loyal following. Until the trend dies. I suspect most women will still think of lulu as their safe haven.