Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sh!t Has Hit The Fan: 2017 Outlook Poor, Stock Drops 18% After Hours

All I can say is hahahahaha hohohohoho WE TOLD YOU SO. We, your most loyal customers, have been complaining about a lack of color for MONTHS and it finally came home to bite you. And shame on you for blaming the website redesign and visual displays for your poor sales, it's all about the crappy product assortment - no color, terrible/cheap designs, eliminating/modifying ("innovating") core favorites, hefty price increases, declining functionality, declining quality, and an overall lack of VALUE. Holman is a cancer and needs to go. He jettisoned everything that made lululemon special and now the company is reaping the results. Get some of the old timers back, grab the Ivivva folks who still retain the essence of the brand and turn this around before it's too late.

Some articles:

Fortune: Lululemon Says Lack of Bold Colors to Blame for Poor Start to 2017

CNBC: Lululemon Shares Crater On Weak Outlook

NY Times: Lululemon's Shares Drop After Weak Outlook

Forbes: Lululemon Shares Crash After 'Slow Start' to 2017 Weighs on Outlook

Globe and Mail: Lululemon Shares Plummet As Retailer's Outlook Fades



Update:

Wilson pulls no punches in this tweet. His comments here.






54 comments:

Anonymous said...

UGH! PLEASE. I love the Love Tee IV, but I can only have so many grey t-shirts!! They literally have 4 versions of grey. Who ever thought that was a good idea? Hopefully now we can get some fun spring colors! Meanwhile, I just bought some awesome hot pink shorts at Athleta!

CatepillarInTraining said...

actually,I keep seeing random Ivviva ads on my browsers lately and at a glance I'll be like OMG WANT IS THAT LULU!?! but no, it's ALWAYS Ivviva. It's like all the fun went to that brand and lulu is all SERIOUS now. guess what? yogis and athletes like to have FUN! :) I'm hoping this will be the wake up call they need.

Anonymous said...

hahahaaaaaa

Anonymous said...

Now lets see if they return prices back to normal..as a first step to getme to impulse shop again.

Anonymous said...

hahaaaahaaa

Now hopefully we see some changes...

LuluAddict said...

God, I hope. My sister tells me when a stock drops by 18% that tends to end in management shakeups, though it sounds like Potdevin is standing by Holman and blaming "visual displays" for lack of sales and not a depressing color palette and cheap-looking shitty designs. Maybe they'll both get the boot. Bring back Waterson. At least the product assortment had an overall story under her.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 4:25 pm - the only reason I bought the Concrete Jungle nulux WUPS were that they first came out at $98. I would have never paid $128 for them. No way is nulux worth $30 more.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they are trying to reach 50 shades? Lol. I agree. I do love neutrals but the colour choices have been pretty uninspiring of late.

LuluAddict said...

There are only so many shades of navy a person can use.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed all the stock photos on the articles show old styles/colors? I find it funny that they show the "good" stuff (and not the current stuff) on the articles with the stock dropping.

Rise and Shine said...

Thoughts:

1. I actually find more stuff online than in stores. I have criticisms of the site, but to be honest, I doubt it's caused me not to buy anything. Then again, I am a freak who stalks the site. Maybe a more casual buyer wouldn't be so committed.

2. Traffic is light in stores because of the lack of color. When you walk by, nothing grabs you. Also, some of the store design is weak. My local mall store is covered with tiles in the front and only has a small window on the side. If you hide the products, people are definitely not going to be interested in buying them. Isn't this retail 101?

3. This surprised me: "The poor 2017 financial targets led investors to completely ignore the strong results Lululemon delivered for the holiday quarter."(Fortune) Normally Potdevin talks a really strong BS game with analysts. He must have had a very bad day.

4. "We own it, and by owning it we also mean that we know how to fix it," CEO Laurent Potdevin told investors on the company's earnings call." (CNBC) Uh, yeah, we know how you could have avoided it, too. First, listen to US, your loyal, supportive customers. We actually really don't want you guys to fail. Second, fire Holman. Ok, you were a gentleman and didn't point the finger, but we all know who's to blame. You don't want to call him out publicly, fine, but he needs to go. Now.

5. Potdevin said the website failed to “powerfully translate our design vision". Uh, no. We saw the vision. We think it's grim, mannish, and ugly. We want the old Lulu vision back.

They can talk all they want to, but the simple truth is that the clothes aren't very appealing. Price increases also hurt, but the bottom line is that Lulu used to make a lot of people act completely irrationally. Setting alarm clocks for 3 a.m. to be up for an upload, buying 40-50 hoodies, etc. There was so much lust. Now? We just can't be bothered. That has to be a direct result of poor design.

Anita Leisser said...

What about the poor design of their high-rise luxtreme pants that won't stay up? What is the point of designing pants for "training" and general gym wear when you can't do a couple jumping jacks without having to tug on the waist? That is my biggest peeve with lululemon pants - high-rise waist, unless there's a drawcord, SUCK.
And perhaps there is more choice out there now with all these other activewear brands popping up with cute/sexy designs, or fun prints? When I started buying lululemon 10-11 years ago, it was because of the bright colors that were unique. Nowadays you can find stuff like lululemon at Aritzia for half the price. It's all made in China anyway, so what's the difference?

Eric Lewis said...

Prices are insane of stuff these days. Then the sale price is basically the old retail price. Honestly I can't even imagine men's selling that much, everything seems to go on markdown.

Anonymous said...

Hahah! Oh man I love the picture! I feel like so many of us have been waiting for this moment, waiting to be somehow vindicated! The strangest thing I saw was in the Globe article where he said something to the effect of them being able to get bright colors back out in a week. What?!? Since when has clothing production turnaround been that fast?

Anonymous said...

Luluaddict,
I could've not said better myself! I hate being negative, but I am proud of people not falling for the label, not buying current crap with lulu symbol...
My wish list for lulu to come back from the dead: fire current management, bring back heylululemon and what we love, bring back old website, bring back normal designers, make reruns of many unicorns and come up with new genius creations, forget about greed and keep Canadian prices stable and wmtm discounts reasonable, bring back online warehouse sales.....

Anonymous said...

@ Rise and Shine. Well that sums it up nicely just add in the obvious elimination of classic sellers, dance studio pants II, dance studio jackets, CRB, scuba II, and other assortments of gorgeous half zips, run crops etc. ( I know I am missing a bunch but point made)

CYMK said...

If the Lululemon designers went to Ivviva, why aren't they talked about more? Is the quality not as good?

Anonymous said...

hahaha at the 50 shades comment

Anonymous said...

1000% agree!

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 6:46 pm - I can predict the "new" bright colors now - some oranges that look like grapefruit and flash and some medium blues like Sprinkler and Kayak, in colors that look familiar but have new names. They'll probably dig out some old rolls of fabric and run off some batches of CRB 1s like they did at Xmas time.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 5:05 pm - It's depressing to see the older photos of the stores with the fun bright colors and prints. I wrote on my facebook page that it's depressing to go into the stores now and I have to make myself do it. It used to be fun. I used to feel like I was on a treasure hunt and I'd be delighted at the surprises I'd find on every rack and cubby.

Anonymous said...

@CYMK - Ivivva does have more fun designs and colours but the quality IMO isn't fantastic. A lot of the time the materials feel cheaper and more plastic-y.

She Who Weaves Words said...

Completely agree! I'm an online-only shopper as we have no stores in Jamaica (not that that makes a difference because on a recent trip to Miami, I was depressed by the blahness of everything in the store).

Savvy customers, particularly those of us working with weak currencies have to be choosy about quality and a cohesive story with the clothes, and frankly, how they make us FEEL. All this generic, unflattering, lack of colour stuff has to go.

Rise and Shine said...

Thanks, anon @7:53. I agree with your comment about killing the classics completely, too.

And one other issue is the fit. Not only is everything boxy, lengths have gotten shorter and proportions often make no sense. I picked up a pair of Speed Tights on WMTM the other day and they're almost 7/8 length. Um, I'm glad I don't have long legs?

Anonymous said...

It's wrong for management to point to the 4th quarter results. Those figures were the result of the dramatic price increases for all the core items which now people are not paying and the huge WMTM inventory where they were dumping older items that people coveted to make room for this new dreck.

I bought many items off WMTM to hoard like CRBS and the older Rulu items which randomly popped up. The sale on the original CRBs probably counts for half of their 4th quarter profit. Since the first of the year, I've purchased a Go Lightly bag, some socks and gloves and a few bras from WMTM.

BTW: They should either pull the stuff 6 mos+ on WMTM or dramatically drop the prices. So tired of seeing it.

gordonsgrl said...

I am really pleased that the results show what we have all been echoing. That means we aren't a bunch of complainers :) but very knowledgeable about the product we liked and the product we want to see. They could cut the product development and marketing budgets just by coming to a few of these sites and reading comments.

So if you are out there listening to us at all Lululemon, here is my free advice:

1. Go on ebay and see what's being snapped up
2. Read these blogs - a lot and find some trends
3. Consistent sizing! If I'm a 4 in speed shorts I want to know that if I order a pair of shorts they will fit. Stop tweaking.
4. Test the products out in real life situations - there is no excuse for sheerness, drooping waists, baggy knees etc.
5. Visit your stores and compare that vision to the colorful photos you featured (see LuluAddict's comment above) - I find your stores depressing and bleak and one or two pops of colors aren't going to do it. All the visual design in the world can't hide that it is a sea of bleak, masculine, boxy, frumpy designs with a x-load of mesh
6. Revive the classics - Coca-Cola admitted when it made a mistake with New Coke - bring back the CRB original - call it classic CRB or whatever you want. There are so many designs in your vault.

There you go - hope to have saved you a few marketing research $$$

Anonymous said...

I hate Kayak and already have Grapefruit, but would love to see more items in Filtered orange

Anonymous said...

They are targeting majority of the population, which 5"4

Anonymous said...

lulu Sh#@t the bed.
I think the athletic wear market is also super saturated at the moment and that is also not making things any better.
right now I am in the process of purging my lulu stuff.
I feel bad when people ask me about some of my vintage lulu and I can only say, they don't make this stuff anymore.


M

Anonymous said...

Likening a person to be a form of cancer, that is completely uncalled for. If you a love a brand that stands behind positivity and personal acceptance, you LULUADDICT have a few things to learn. Just horrible!

toni lande said...

FINALLY FINALLY!!! I still don't understand what made this fool think that we the people, aka the CUSTOMER, want to wear boring, muted, dull color 24/7!!! & please stop making generic long sleeve shirts! Everything is SO damn generic, nothing really grabs my attention besides the concrete jungle print, but I'm not gonna buy it now that it's at $128.

I really wish they would bring back Quiet Stripe. Please!!!!!!!!!!

I refuse to pay $1000 (nwt) for the pair on ebay right now.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 10:22 am - Unclutch your pearls, haven't you ever heard the term "clubhouse cancer"? It's a sports term for a player that ruins a team.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you that in NYC and CT color does not sell and those are major markets. Even tweets only want black, white and gray. When you look at the sale rack it's all bright colors. Walk the streets of ny and everyone wears black. So bright colors ain't gonna fix lululemon. They need to offer more innovation, distinguish themselves;vex from athleta, which is always packed in my town, and I think they should start a shoe line.

Anonymous said...

Certainly not a shock, readers on this board has been calling it for a long time. Potdevin promised more global expansion and more profit, thus that meant cutting quality and design corners (including that which flatters the figure), and jacking prices. He and cohorts erroneously thought that customers would stick around or that the brand would draw so many new ones to make up for loyalists decamping. The goal was clearly to get rid of the long term, loyalists who know too much and made the brand what it once was. It is the most dumb*ss business move one can imagine! You keep the existing customer happy AND you try to get new ones. Simple. As for the new customer they were/are after, as has been said many times: how many boring/non-special, boxy/unflattering, neutral/monochrome-coloured, overladened with mesh, overpriced pieces of clothing can one have? As for the new patterns they offered, when they did, zero desire there too.

My LLL habit curbed tremendously – I always think 2.5 years ago, but it has been longer than I thought: 3+ years. Day left in July 2013 and my purchases were reducing before she left. Potdevin came on in January 2014 and in general, under Potdevin and whomever (I know Holman was newer to the brand as of mid-2015), my reduced spending became even more infrequent. Getting rid of the CRB original and the constant price hikes in 2016 were the final nails in the coffin. I used to go into the store so often and also check the website. Funny, just the day before this announcement, I deleted the app from my phone and unsubscribed from a bunch of store emails. I barely pull up the website and when I do, it’s mainly to check wmtm to see if the odd, good item migrated there. I purged my gear (stopped hoarding) but have a good amount to rotate through and freshen up with other brands. And yup, I’m an everyday athlete: running, yoga, cycling, and also walk wherever I can. I got into LLL because it was so comfortable and thoughtfully designed for someone who is truly active, while being very flattering and tasteful.

You never want to see a brand fail from a business and economics point of view. However, I cannot say I actually care. My moving on started years ago and Potdevin, then Potdevin-Holman, really just hastened it along to a final end. I don’t need to buy something every week – I never did – but I liked being able to count on the brand. There was a time when there was ALWAYS something lovely to want and I’d make a point of getting, but not anymore!

Chidera Ubah said...

I guess I'm the only one who doesn't share the "dark and drab" sentiments. I actually like some of the colours that Lulu has been releasing. I loved the Black Cherry colour, I really like the Deep Rouge, Midnight Navy, Dark Olive, and Marvel, and I'm definitely looking forward to the Black Currant colour. I don't know if it's because I wasn't a Lulu customer when their colours and patterns were more vibrant, so I don't know what I'm missing, but I don't think the clothing is as awful as everyone says.

Jocelyn said...

They had the 'Special Edition' stuff at the LA marathon expo and in the local stores. I was surprised on day two of the expo that it was still available....the old Lulu stuff would have been long gone and in high demand! Went to the Santa Monica store after the marathon and they had all sizes left. $128 for the shorts. The store was so boring and bland. I remember my very first time going into a Lulu store!! Its definitely not the same experience now (and not because I'm 12 years older - HA!)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you know it's funny... We gave them all the golden advice on heyLLL and they didn't take advantage of it at all!!

Anonymous said...

Same here! It used to get me into the store sometimes multiple times per week!

Anonymous said...

I bought some WMTM items in January, and then just hair ties this month. Guess I'm sort of relieved they suck for my wallets sake?

Anonymous said...

@ toni lande - Totally agree on bringing back popular favorites. Bringing back the Quiet Stripe Wunder Under Crops alone could probably make up sales for the quarter. I'm sure almost every customer would at least buy one pair! lol.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 4:51 pm - great comments! Since you are an everyday athlete, what brands have you branched out to instead of lululemon? You obviously value functionality, performance, and looks, so who is measuring up to your needs now? Athleta is working pretty well for me since they have stepped things up a bit, are cheaper and I have a store near me but I'd love to hear about other brands. I've checked out some of the more fashion-type brands like Alo and Alala in Nordstrom but they don't seem that functional to me so I'd like to hear about others.

Anonymous said...

Unclutch your pearls LOL

As for very good holiday numbers, I don't think that had much to do with good product but rather they were still riding on the coattails of the Lululemon name. Also, holiday sales are largely made up of people buying gift cards for loved ones and friends who now sit with cards in their wallets because there is nothing to buy. I don't believe it was only boring colours that caused the slow down in sales but as everyone else is saying, the designs have been horrible. The colours yes have been boring but as some have mentioned they don't mind muted dark colours but this company took it a step further and gave us various shades of greys, blacks, whites in almost every pima cotton top and their s/s Swiftlies, with barely a colour in sight. As another commenter has said, how many shades of navy do we need?

I don't think the buck stops at Holman because if Captain Potdevin isin't watching where his ship is being steered then he is not doing his job. Thanks to the leadership of Mr. Potdevin he has decimated everything that made Lululemon great and snubbed his nose at it's loyal following.

For all of those who are throwing their two cents in about what they would like to see back on the shelves, lets not forget the unbelievably comfortable DANCE STUDIO CROP, one of the first classics shelved.

I too have lost my lust for lulu and I have Potdevin and Holman to thank for that.

Anonymous said...

My current go to brands really depend on my activities. for yoga I like teeki bottoms (hot pants) with Sweaty Betty's stamina workout bra and old school CRB.

For running I still use my old style running tights from lulu they are still in good shape, but I will need to find a new brand once those wear out.
For running/high intensity bras I have switched from the tata tamer to the victory bra from Sweaty Betty.

other brands that I use are Mika,Liquido active and Onzie, but those are specifically for yoga and lounging.

M

Anonymous said...

@Jocelyn -

I wanted the LA Marathon shorts but $128? For a pair of shorts? I know they are reflective but they didn't even actually design anything remotely special for the marathon. Just a screen printed "LA" under the Lulu logo. Why not a tiny L.A. skyline to go with the letters or have the letters be part of the skyline? Seems there were so many possibilities but they took the cheap route and then charged a premium. No thanks. I run the marathon, I live here but no way am I paying $128 for a pair of white shorts.

Anonymous said...

Went into store yesterday and it was a see of dark colors with nothing of interest. I actually returned WUP in Nulux (feather print) that kept sliding down, I would put on pant walk down hallway and have to hike them up. Had WUP for month and returned, ed told me I should of sized down. Hmmmmmm that doesn't make sense. She than tried to tell me I should buy some pant that cost $128 and they would stay up. No thanks! I use to plan business trips so I could visit LLL stores. NO MORE!

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see people talking about how color won't sell when this company is tanking selling black, gray, and navy. I guess no one follows fashion, either, since color is definitely not out.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad their stupidity is coming back to bite them. Hopefully now we'll see some changes - and NOT just with the web design. I didn't like the design change (esp the floating clothes), but that's not what stopped me from buying. It's the CLOTHES. I wouldn't even know 90% of the current offerings were even lulu if it wasn't for the logo or the fact that it's on the website/in stores. My split pullover (thanks WMTM), as comfy as it is, could've come from Target. It's that generic.

I remember the first time I went into a store. Spry Blue, Love Red, Sizzle, Raspberry Glo, Power Purple, Pizazz...SO MANY BRIGHT THINGS. And I wanted so much of it. Everything was cohesive and you easily find pieces to pair together like a crazy print CRB and color coordinating solid speeds. The few colors available are so random these days - I guess they just want to pair it with one of their 80 gray tees. Now on the rare occasion that I go to the store, I circle around in disbelief that there is absolutely nothing I want. Not even on MD. I miss the girly details. Bright colors. TECHNICAL PIECES. FFS give me clothes I can actually - idk - work out in? Long gone are the days of uploads that make sense - different capsules, color stories, etc. Now it's like they just throw up whatever happens to be done with production first. I guess it's okay, I've saved lots of money and no longer spend my Tuesday afternoons refreshing my browser. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Agree with every word!

janine57 said...

So true!

janine57 said...

It's sad they just don't get it! I wonder if they are ever gonna get it. I fear they are a has been.

Anonymous said...

I don't have as much of a problem with the dull colors (although they are getting a bit ridiculous--I wear a lot of black and they're making too much black for me) as the horrid designs. They're boxy and unflattering on everyone. They're boring and ugly. What is the point of a crop shirt if all of your pants are high waisted? And they just don't last. I had an educator who had the nerve to tell me the've upped the prices of the new swiftlies because "well they changed them so now they snag less." I actually laughed. Like really? I tell you I've been shopping the brand for years and you try to pull that with me? I have swiftlies from like 2012 that look newer than half my stuff from late last year. The brand is turning into crap, and I'm honestly really sad about it. The sizing is inconsistent and it's gotten to the point that I refuse to order offline because I'm convinced they save crap items for online and send good ones to stores because people can see before they buy. A lot of the "I ordered these and they're falling apart after 1 wear" comments I don't see in my gear--because I got to check the seams in-store before I took them home. It sucks that a brand that used to be so good has fallen to that.

Amanda said...

I have to admit that with my last bit of weight gain, one of my first thoughts was if I could still squeeze into the Ivviva version of the CRAB because they remind me of old lulu.

Jocelyn said...

I agree!! They should have done a little more than just the "LA". If they had a skyline or any other detail, the stuff would have sold.
I too contemplated the shorts, but $128 was way too much for white shorts that just had a little "LA" on them....and I don't believe that the reflective paint is that expensive as I've seen it used on athletic wear at much lower price points.

Kim said...

I actually tweeted to Lulu asking why Ivivva got all the fun stuff lol. Such cute designs, patterns, and details on their clothing. I need Lulu to get back there!!