Bend-over test revealed Lululemon's defect
After recalling yoga pants for being too revealing, the company says the defect wasn't noticed until customers presented a view from a key angle.
Lululemon (LULU) shocked the yoga world when it revealed on Monday that some of its popular black Luon pants were too sheer, leading to see-through bottoms.
But another surprise was revealed by CEO Christine Day on a Thursday conference call, when she noted that the defect with the pants weren't noticed until customers put on the pants and bent over.
Remember, these are yoga pants.
It's not clear why the company didn't ask a few employees to don a pair and try the basic butt-in-the-air downward dog pose before shipping them out to stores. That would have certainly revealed the pants' defects, rather than letting customers find out they were baring all in the middle of their Bikram classes.
"The truth of the matter is the only way that you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over,” Day said on the conference call. "Just putting the pants on themselves doesn’t solve the problem. So it passed all of the basic metric tests, and the hand feel is relatively the same. So it was very difficult for the factories to isolate the issue, and it wasn’t until we got in a store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue.”
Day said the company was "pursuing several hypotheses" to figure out what went wrong with the pants.
The recall affected 17% of all the women's pants sold in Lululemon's stores, as reported by my colleague Jonathan Berr. The company's shares have declined 15% this year through Thursday.
The fabric, called Luon, is made of 86% nylon and 14% Lycra and has a reputation of wicking away moisture when you sweat, according to Business Insider.
"This is not the Luon we have come to love," Day said on the call.
While she said the company is putting in stricter quality-control measures, it's not clear whether fans will stick with the retailer. After all, competitors such as Gap's (GPS) Athleta sell a similar type of pants. Lululemon also said it will have a shortage of the impacted style.
Asked repeatedly by analysts about what went wrong, Day noted the fabric "has to be engaged in a four-way stretch for the sheerness to appear. So it’s a very complex thing to test for."
Maybe, but most yoga fans would tell you that a child's pose is, well, child's play.
I'd wager they went for a less expensive, more sheer fabric. The profits would increase, and a bit of what goes on in some exercise classes would be enhanced.
I'd also wager the Lululemon folks are being asked by more than a few folks right now: "Where, uh, can some of those black yoga pants you've pulled off the market be purchased?"
Pack up all the recalled pants and sell them to Victoria secrets as a new line
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
- People left $500,000 in coins at airports last year
- How your driving can affect your credit
- Obamacare projected to cost hundreds of billions less
- November jobs report: Winners and losers
- Student loan debt climbs for 5th year in a row
- Wall Street finally notices Bitcoin
- Part-time workers hurt by on-call system
- 5 myths about late payments and your FICO scores
- Auto loan interest rates hit record low
[BRIEFING.COM] Market is plodding along with modest gains, underpinned by a steady performance from the financials (+0.4%) today and the continued interest in owning large-cap technology stocks.
The Nasdaq 100 is up 0.5%, which puts it ahead of the pack in today's trading. Conversely, the Russell 2000 (-0.3%) is a notable laggard as small-cap issues feel the pinch of profit taking and perhaps some tax-loss selling interest that tends to pick up this time of year.
In fitting ... More
More Market News
The Fed may start tapering in just a few months. Here are a few of the likely winners and losers.