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Lululemon is Running Out of Yoga Pants

in Business of Yoga, YD News

Just kidding! Could you imagine? Unholiness.

Apparently, lack of supply has actually been a real threat to the lulus. No worries though, they’re hurrying to make even more lulu goods because they can’t keep up with demand. It’s true. Ask Versace.

Here’s your annual lulu fiscal report on the state of yoga pants, your wallet and therefore the world.

The 2011 annual results are out, and if 2012 is anything like last year, we’re in for emptier hidden pockets and a lot more viral videos. This time lulu is prepared to meet the fiery frenzy of demand with abundant supply, which CEO Christine Day credits to “investments in the distribution chain and an 81 percent increase in total inventory over March 2011 levels.”

“We have a team that forecasts fabrics now. We have a new head of raw materials, and we made investments in our sourcing team and production team,” Day said. “We brought on some additional factory capacity, and the main part is we have a bigger inventory of fabric which has allowed us to have more choices and more responsiveness.”

A forecasting fabric team? Sounds serious. So predictions of 2012 first quarter revenue are around the $270 million mark, a 45 percent jump from 2011 numbers. And total sales for 2012 are predicted to hit $1.35 billion. That’s a lot of zippers!

How will they live up to such high numbers? According to an analyst “the limited availability of their product is part of their [lululemon's] model,” and “they’ve trained their customers to come in and shop when new products hit the stores.” Pavlovian lululemmings.

Lulu will also keep profits high by keeping prices high. Did we just hear you just say ‘brilliant!’?  Ah, but all you warehouse sale shoppers may take this one hard:

“We did warehouse sales at the end of 2012, it was just an end of the year sale, and we have no plans to do additional ones,” Day said. “We don’t want to create a dependance on more outlets.”

You can forget about bargain bins and discount racks. Why? Need we get into the mediocre discussion again?

“We don’t want to compete with the average product,” says Christine Day. But our prediction is if you’re an average schmo with $100 in your pocket they’d love to sell you a new pair of stretchy pants with empty ‘hidden’ pockets.

[Forbes.com]

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Earlier

21 comments… add one

  • is it really that they can’t keep up with demand? seems like they revealed that they purposely don’t keep up with it.

    a wall street journal article reported, “Unlike most retailers, Lululemon doesn’t use software to gather customer data, doesn’t build lots of new stores, doesn’t offer generous discounts and purposely stocks less inventory than it can keep on its shelves.

    Instead, the Vancouver company stays in close contact with its customers and cultivates a sense of scarcity, and during a time when most retailers have used discounting to drive sales, it uses pricing power to its advantage to keep items flying off the shelves.”

    so the scarcity prompts people to buy and buy at full price, fearing that they’ll run out. sneaky! here’s the article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577295882632723066.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

  • John I

    I wear khaki shorts and an old tee-shirt when I practice. Even in public!

  • Lemming#12

    Wow, we get a breather from AnusaraGate for some fresh, insightful, commentary … about Lululemon. How revolutionary. I’m so glad I tuned in today.

    Yogadork, seriously, is there nothing else going on in the world of yoga for you to report on than this?

    If I want to read Forbes articles about the financial outlook of a capitalist clothing company, I’ll go to Forbes. What’s next, are you going to pull their SEC records and make wry commentary about how selfish they are not to conduct a stock split or to pay out dividends? Riveting.

    It’s truly unfortunate; your blog smacks of so much negativity and sour grapes lately that methinks the Yogadork doth protest too much. Who cares what Lululemon charges for their clothing? Old news. Stale. If you aren’t going to buy the pants anyway, why the consistent, obsessive, snide snark toward the “lululemmings” who do. Lululemon isn’t yoga, it’s a company that makes pants; we’ve all long since figured that out.

    It’s to the point that it sounds less like you’re trying to inform the yoga community — who I’m sure were dying to know whether any more of those great warehouse sales or spiffy hidden pockets would be appearing in 2012 — and more that you’re just jealous that you don’t have a pair of those pants yourself.

    If that’s the case, hey, it’s okay. They’re pretty nice pants. But if you keep pressing your nose against the glass of the shop window like that your face might freeze that way.

  • YD

    Thanks for joining us lemming and taking the time out for your rant. A response is not necessary, but neither are $100 yoga pants so here you go.

    Yoga is a few thousand years old, so it must be like SO super stale by now. We should probably just stop talking about it all together.

    Thank you for pulling the jealous card, because that is usually the best litmus test for the level of consciousness behind the comments. This blog is about yoga culture and news. If you’d rather be reading 5 ways yoga can improve your sex life (for the nth time) or how to become a REAL goddess in the dating world or top 10 reasons yoga changed my life, this isn’t your blog.

    Thank you for reading YD, but clearly you haven’t been reading for very long and it’s perfectly ok if you don’t care to read any longer.

  • YD
  • Jen

    OMG YD! You sound exactly like that whinny twit, Waylon Lewis. I liked it better when you stayed in the background instead of commenting on your own posts. Please stop it!

  • YD

    Don’t worry, stepping in to respond to an attack is something reserved for special occasions.

  • CT

    Looks like someone hit a nerve.

  • HY

    Lemming, and you comment on negativity?…

  • cindysioux

    Yay YD!!! I’m so glad you responded, and so well too! Bravo! I once got into a (very brief, thankfully) conversation with a Lulu employee, who became quite the hostile “yogi” at the mere mention of Lulu’s more controversial business practices. Funnily, Lemming #12′s tone seems quite familiar…

    For the record, I adore Yogadork. I am a yogadork!

  • I stopped shopping at Lululemon when they stopped manufacturing locally (in Canada). Quite a bit has been written about their labor practices. They could make a real difference if they used fairly sourced materials and labor and manufactured at least some of their products outside of China. Maggie’s Organics (entire supply chain fairly/ethically produced; much made in the USA) has reasonably priced, organic cotton products, including pants, tops and wraps that are well-suited for yoga. Finding companies that make a profit in a way that supports their workers and the world is much more satisfying than the manufactured trendiness of Lululemon.

  • Lemming#12

    See, Nancy touches on a wonderful point, here.

    It’d be so nice, just once, if we’re going to hear about the corporate side of yoga, to read an article about some of the companies that *are* making a difference, rather than the repeated whinging about Lululemon not doing so. To read a list of some of the ethical companies that serve as affordable, suitable alternatives to Lululemon for those who are inclined to shop for yoga paraphernalia. (You could even call it “Alternatives to Lululemon” if you think throwing around their brand name will get you more hits.) It’d be positive and encouraging to learn about the good those companies are doing, rather than the latest scandal or the profit/loss statements for LLL.

    I guess this isn’t that blog, though.

  • YD

    Thanks, Nancy.

  • cindysioux

    hahaha! srsly, YD, you kill me!

  • I’ve practiced yoga nearly everyday for four years and I’ve never heard of Lululemon. I guess I should check them out…

  • octopus

    Nancy, I’m with you. I stopped shopping at Lulu when they started making their garments in China.
    Claire, you don’t need to know this rip off store. Not worth it.
    Lemming#12, if you don’t like the title, don’t read the article and please stop spewing your venom on this thread.
    YD, I LOVE your articles and the way you’re expressing your thoughts. It’s always a great read. Thanks for the humor :-)

  • @octopus I looked at their website…$90 for a pair of stretch yoga pants? No thank you…

  • octopus

    Ya and they seem to sell like hot cakes – go figure! I never bought their pants, only a few tops.
    Overpriced and overrated is the best way to describe the brand.

  • Eve

    I live two blocks away from the original Lulu store in Vancouver, and for years never darkened their door.
    One of the banes of my teaching existence is Lulu pants that pool at the ankles and slop over the feet, handily obscuring any clues to alignment at the base of standing poses.
    And yet, and yet. . . . last January, 15 months ago, I bought a pair of Lulu tights – actual tights that end at my knees – for an assessment. I teach three days a week and I’ve worn them for teaching every class since I bought them.
    They cost $90, and they are still not showing any signs of wear, which, on a cost-per-wearing reckoning makes them a bargain.
    I’m thinking of breaking down and buying another pair.
    Obnoxious corporate culture, great product.

  • Lynn

    Maybe. I have a pair of Nike capri tights that I’ve worn for going on six years. Trained for a marathon in them. Between running and yoga, they are worn 2-4 times a week for the last six years. Only now are they starting to really wear (the elastic).

  • HY

    Precisely. Nike makes their stuff in China (or somewhere). Lululemon makes their stuff in China (or somewhere). Both last very long for most of the time, on occasion you can get a dud in either.

    Lulu charges 3x as much – because they can.

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