Friday, March 26, 2010

Fit & Function on the Run: Sneak a Peak Shorts - Commentary is Illuminating

I think this girl is from the San Diego store. She did a Fit & Function on the Run: Sneak a Peak Short. Here is her first comment:

I myself cannot run in short shorts. [I think a lot of women don't care for short shorts. Yet 100% of Lululemon's running shorts are short shorts.] Number one, I feel uncomfortable constantly pulling them down and wondering if anything is falling out for the runner behind me to see. Number two, I tend to cross my feet over each other when I run, so if I am running in shorts, chafing is inevitable.

Why doesn't Lululemon offer more shorts the length of the lagoon undershort? I would think they'd sell tons of them. The Biker Groove shorts sold out in a couple of days and those were quite a few inches longer. 

Photo of New Wear With All - Sorbet

A woman was kind enough to post a photo of her new Sorbet and white Wear With All on Facebook. I love my Wear With All. I can't wait to see the other colors.

OT: W Magazine Mention of Zobha Preferred over Lululemon

Zobha Scarlett Tank - Love This! Would get one in a second but out of my size.
Zobha Asymmetrical Jacket
Zobha Marilyn Tank with matching leggings - so cute!

The W Magazine blog mentioned Zobha as their favorite brand of workout wear, even over Lululemon! Here is an excerpt:
While I've tested out all sorts of gear, from lululemon bra tops to Danskin leggings, I've found few items that are comfortable throughout a workout yet cute enough to wear on the walk home. My current favorites are all by Zobha, a California-based company that makes the world’s most flattering exercise top (the Marilyn, a square halter), as well as the chicest (the Scarlett, a high-necked, limited edition number). I’m also a fan of the leggings, but am in absolute awe of the so-well-cut-it-could-easily-be-mistaken-for-Helmut-Lang Asymmetrical Jacket, a steal at $150. 

It's quite a coup for Zobha to be noticed by W magazine. The average reader's household income is $135,000. While some of Zobha's tops are blah, it has quite a few cute ones. I agree the Scarlett and the Marilyn are two of the best. I'm waiting for more colors to be released in both. I really like the Scarlett but it's a limited edition top and it was sold out of my size but the time I discovered Zobha. However, they plan to make more for the fall. I think Zobha's designs are much more interesting than those by Beyond Yoga.Oh yes, if you want to try Zobha, be sure to google for coupon codes. I found one recently for 20% off.

Does Christine Day Read This Blog? - Q4 2009 Conference Call Excerpts

This quarter's conference call didn't have that many gems. Here are some of the more interesting statements:

From the Q&A Section

Q - I was wondering if you could spend a few minutes on the internet business which I believe has blossomed into a larger volume business than you had originally projected, perhaps you could talk about the purchasing metrics versus what you’re seeing in the stores and if you could talk a little bit about what I would expect to be a change in your projections for the size of this business.
CD: So yes we have seen our e-commerce business really take off. I think we’ve seen it slow a little bit because of product availability over the last few weeks [LuluAddict Opinion - Uh no, I don't think it's product availability. Well, unless you mean a lack in availability of products with unique new designs, a lack of products in lots of different colors - not limited to three plus black and white, and lack of pretty designs & prints] and that’s been something that we’ve really been working on and driving the units to that because we don’t want to obviously frustrate our guests there. [There is quite a bit of frustration as can be read right off your Facebook page. Especially in regards to the latest upload - Canada totally got ripped off ] We do see a pretty similar pattern. We do know that the guests shop between the channels so about 40% of the guests are unique to the site and new guests coming in and about 60% are loyal guests. And the purchasing patterns are fairly similar to the retail stores with the exception of the men’s business which is still stronger in the stores than online.

Q: I wanted to know what percentage of your business in the quarter came from new guests versus returning guests and this is in your stores, and how many times you believe your average returning guest frequents the store.
CD: Looking at the numbers it says about 40%. So we don’t know that number specifically, we only know it through our design feedback sessions, and talking to regular guests and so we don’t have yet the customer intelligence systems to track that level of transactional details. [Why not, Amazon does. Why don't you implement a customer loyalty card like the grocery store?] So the reality is we know that there’s a tremendous amount of loyalty based on our feedback sessions where our guest shops our store frequently and we hear that and see that on the online blogs [Do you read my blog, Christine? Do you have your minions read it and report to you?  Be still my heart!  ;-)  ] and the social media that we do monitor. [I certainly hope all the grumbling on Facebook is being heard] So we do know that we have a very frequent guest that shops us often but we also know we’re attracting through the e-commerce numbers where I can see it, a high number of new and first time and unique guests where there is where I said it was about 40%. We have already discussed our decision to add more value to our products such as our technical functionality and other key features as well as new fabrics in order to offer additional value to our guests without increasing prices.

Q: This year you did a great job offering an elevated element of fashion that’s very, very versatile yet athletic, will we see more of that during the course of this next year.[Oh God, I hope not, unless it's done right like the No Limits Tank]
A: Yes, we are very pleased with our formula of foundational core basics, like our Groove Pants, our Defined jacket, our Stride Jacket, and so on and so forth and as we said before our biggest challenge there is our sizes which Christine already addressed and we’re addressing that further with our speed to market response as well as further leveraging our [JDA] size scaling and so on. And then in terms of the seasonal piece of it, we’ve got some of the most talented designers in the world [You used to. Although the running line is pretty solid but you've let the yoga and apres slide. A lot.] and I am pleased to say that what you’ll be seeing going forward looks just as great if not greater than what you’ve seen in 2009.

Q: Its pretty fantastic and did you have a great response like one of the best responses to the Splatter that you just launched.[Really? Was the Splatter all that? Maybe because it was the only pattern besides Space Dye that was offered, you twitty analyst.]
A: Yes, you called it, absolutely right. The Splatter has been a real hit. We found that there’s a formula or a recipe of prints, textures, and solids that’s been very successful for us. [Mmm, ok. But it could be a LOT better if strayed from three solid colors plus a space dye plus one print formula.]

Q: What are your plans or how are you thinking about the warehouse sales going forward, are they a thing of the past or are you going to revisit them in July and maybe next winter as well.
A:...On warehouse sales we actually didn’t have one in January because we had no product to put in it. So I think we still view there is benefit, particularly in the Canadian market as really a guest branding event for the loyal customers, so I don’t see them ever going away. But we certainly don’t view them as a necessity right now or something that we have to do. We want to keep them special and do a good job when we do do them. So at this point in time we’ll call it every two but our inventory is probably the cleanest its ever been from a aged inventory perspective and certainly we also have the e-commerce channel where we’re putting up an occasional what we call [loop] [Loot] page, almost doing our own private sale model when we’re ready but not having it all the time and that’s also worked very well for us.[ Oh yes, putting your extra inventory on-line where millions can view instead of sending it to a warehouse sale only a few thousand can get to makes much more sense. I am loving the Loot deals I've bought. Please, keep putting stuff in Loot.]

Q: Uur question relates to the outlets, during some of our recent outlet store checks we noticed a lot of product that is currently in your retail stores and being sold at full prices, so can you discuss your outlet pricing strategy and how you see that evolving over time.
CD: We only put excess inventory in there except for we had guests absolutely screaming that that’s the only place they shop and they couldn’t buy the Groove Pant and the Hoodies, our most popular items. So most of the outlet centers we don’t have a retail store near so in response to that guest demand we did put the full priced items so that they could get those items because they were the most popular.We don’t send regular assortments to them other than those two key items.

Static Charcoal - Pilling Like Crazy - Anyone else?

Back in the fall I ordered a pair of Still Pants in Static Charcoal. I love the feel of this new type of luon - light and silky. However, it is pilling like crazy. I have three other pairs of Still Pants that I wear a lot more than these and they don't have near as much pilling. Does anyone else with Static Charcoal pants have lots of pilling?