|Today's Wall Street Journal (Thanks to Ms. M for the photo.)|
The fabric manufacturer has fired back, replying that they made the fabric to lululemon's specifications.
"The Taiwanese supplier behind the see-through yoga pants recalled by Lululemon Athletica Inc said on Tuesday it followed design specifications and the Canadian retailer had merely misjudged customer tastes."
"Eclat Textile Co Ltd, a supplier for Lululemon for more than 10 years [emphasis mine], told Reuters that "a gap between Lululemon's expectations and reaction from the market" was the cause of the problem."
"With the black Luon pant recall Lulu has now had its fourth quality control issue in the last year," Credit Suisse analyst Christian Buss said in a note to clients. "We see some potential that Lulu risks alienating its core customer base should quality control issues persist."
Excellent point, Mr. Buss - that's right, the fourth quality control issue that has surfaced in the past year. However, long time fans of lululemon know the slide started when the company went public and Day was brought on board. Changes in the fabric started shortly after, maybe about 2010-ish and really accelerated through 2011 and 2012. Once Chip left in January 2012 the slide to mediocrity accelerated. Designs have been genericized and most new products have all the charm and appeal of a big-box store product. The special omega logo has been removed or minimized to the point that you can't tell you've bought a lululemon product. Inferior, thin luon is being used in more and more designs (looking at you Forme and Daily Yoga jackets). Tops have been shortened (Swiftly tank). The famous camel-toe proof gusset design is long gone.
Day has ruined everything special about lululemon. The bullet proof quality, the fit, the femininity, the lululemoness of the product. She changed beloved, best-selling designs such as the Scuba hoodie, Power Y, Scoop Neck tank, Swiftly tanks, to name a few. Gussets on pants got changed from a diamond shape to a cheaper-to-manufacture diamond. Tops have been shortened.
She is a one-trick pony who grew the company through expansion. (I've heard that isn't going so well and that stores placed too close to each other are cannibalizing each other's sales.) I'll give her minor props for getting a website up and going but that's it.
It's time to bring in a new CEO, with a commitment to quality, who has experience in the apparel industry and an eye for style.