Saturday, March 23, 2013

Is Pantsgate Real? Anyone Actually Returned a Pair? (Updated)

Ha, ha - I'm not amused.
I belong to three lululemon Facebook fan groups with over three thousand members between them. Moverover, this blog typically gets 65,000+ unique visitors a month (94,000+ for this past month) and I have yet to read a comment that someone took back a pair of the recalled pants. I know when I went to the store a few days ago there was no empty shelf space where black pants should be - there were ton of pants, both colored and black in the cubbies. I've read lots of comments that people took in pants that they thought were sheer only to find they weren't part of the recall but still not a single pair actually part of the recall. I find this odd since the pants were on the shelves for nearly three weeks before the problem was discovered. I guess it could be the case most of the recalled pants hadn't hit the floor yet (but the press releases and Day in the conference call made it sound like the problem was discovered only once the pants had hit the floor). However, I have to ask is Pantsgate a smoke screen to lower expectations for future sales? I found an interesting comment on one of the numerous media articles:

"This whole pants issue is being exaggerated and used as an excuse to pull their numbers way down from where they were for Q1 and year. Only 17% of pants supposedly effected, Yet they pull Q1 Rev down $20-$25MM and Full Year down $45 to $50MM and earnings down Around $0.27c from $2.25 for year to $1.98 or so. Do the math, what a joke, they should be able to have these pants fully restocked in a month at most, yet Revenes in Q3 and Q4 will be affected ? - BS ! Is there a slight issue with these pants - Yes, but they saw their numbers were slowing and are making this the only headline - otherwise with sales trends as they are organically (maybe 10% comp sales) going forward, stock would have dropped $10 to $15 today. The pants issue will be fully resolved in 6 weeks at most, and now they magically have reduced full year guidance by over 10% - what a joke !"

Have any of you actually returned a pair that were part of the recall?

Update - Thanks for all the comments. It looks like people have returned pants. From reading the comments it seems some stores were affected more heavily than others and I wonder whether we'll see a heavier impact as styles that were supposed to be put out later are part of the affected batches. Also, it seems like lululemon is really bending over backwards to make people happy, even with purchases earlier than the March 1st date, so if you have a pair of bottoms you feel are too sheer to live with you might want to try contacting them. Satisfied customers will come back and spend more money so this is a good move.