Lululemon Athletica has ordered a recall of its black yoga bottoms. While the material and quality is up to Lululemon’s standards, the fabric is too sheer -- which could lead to customers revealing too much during yoga.
Speaking about the recall on their blog, Lululemon said, “At the beginning of March, our stores and ecommerce site received some black luon women's bottoms that didn't meet our high standards. The materials used in construction were the same but the coverage was not, resulting in increased sheerness. We want you to Down Dog and Crow with confidence and we felt these pants didn't measure up.”
All affected clothing, including yoga bottoms using luon fabric, has been pulled from store shelves and Lululemon’s website. The company says it's in “conversation with our manufacturing partner to understand what happened during the period this fabric was made.” Customers can return the recalled product for a full refund or exchange at any Lululemon store.
The company noted there would be a shortage of the popular product, and that “we are working with our supplier to replace this fabric and other manufacturers to replenish the affected core items as fast as we can. What that means is there will be a shortage of these styles in our stores and online until our new stock arrives.”
Eclat Textile Co Ltd., the Taiwan-based suppliers of the recalled Lululemon pants, told Reuters they followed the company’s instructions and the problem lies with Lululemon. According to the supplier, Lululemon misjudged the market, expecting consumers to be comfortable with the sheerness. Speaking about the order, Eclat spokesman Roger Lo told Reuters, “We checked our orders this morning and indeed, we did follow their instructions to make the product. Lululemon introduced the product to the market and their customers are not comfortable with its opacity.”
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Eclat said it would adjust the manufacturing process to suit Lululemon’s needs and Reuters notes that the recalled product accounts for 17 percent of Lululemon’s merchandise stock that can be found in stores.
Quality control issues have plagued Lulu of late, notes Reuters, as another pair of brightly colored Yoga pants may also have a sheerness-level issue. A UBS Investment Research profile of Lulu notes the company had to adjust its sales expectations for the first quarter, to $333-$343 million, and there are questions that could affect the company’s stock.
According to UBS, some of the questions facing Lulu include, “What are the quality control issues?, 2) How quickly can this be rectified?, 3) Will fewer bottom sales translate into fewer tops sales?, 4) To what extent will this impact Q2 (or subsequent quarters)? and 5) How do we get comfortable that a different category isn’t next?”