Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's Going On With Lululemon?

What is up with Lululemon lately? The websites are picked over. There are only 8 different tanks styles currently showing on the US side. To contrast, in January of last year I reviewed the following NEW tanks: Action, Gather V, 3 Set, Scoop Neck, Tri Y, Wrap Tech, and Not So Low. As far as I was concerned, Lululemon was hitting it out of the park -  I bought at least one of each of those tanks. This year, new tanks are trickling out at a extremely slow rate.  What the heck? January is the month when gyms get flooded with New Year's Resolutionists. This is the prime time of year to have a fully stocked website and to be bringing out new designs, when everyone has recommitted to exercise.  

Lululemon also seems to be having some quality control problems. I've been reading multiple comments on the Facebook site and their own website about the dyes in some new garments, from tanks to underwear, not being fixed and staining skin or other clothes when they get wet with perspiration.Others are complaining about some luons pilling very fast and even fading. I personally have not experienced either of these problems but there are numerous reports.

Is Lululemon spreading itself too thin? Are they bringing out too many run products, bottoms, and casual wear jackets at the expense of their core yoga wear? Look at their competitors - Lucy, Athleta, Prana, Zhoba, to name a few - most of them have quite a few more tanks/shirt styles than Lululemon. What kills me is that they don't even have to invent new styles. Just bring back some of the older ones. From shopping on ebay, I know that the Gather V and the 3 Set are new versions of some older tanks. I suspect the issue is that tanks, especially the ones with the higher impact built in bras, are not profitable enough. Look at how many pieces of fabric have to be stitched together to make an Athletic Deep V. It's a great top built to last  but I think the profit margin is much lower on a complicated tank than a pair of simply constructed Wunder Unders. I don't know about everyone else but I buy a lot more tops than pants.  I hope I'm wrong and there is a bunch of great tanks in the pipeline headed our way but I don't think so.

Splatter Stripe Print Flow Y

Finally! A picture of the Flow Y in the Splatter Stripe print. I'd like to see a whole tank in this print but I dunno about the stripes.

Lagoon Space Dye