This might be Lululemon going too far

So on Saturday, Bobbie and I were driving down Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles — that part might be Beverly Hills, in fact — and we passed by a Lululemon store. The (no surprise) “Robertson Blvd. Lululemon.” I think it is a bit of a flagship, given its location.

Krishna with Sudarshan Chakra, via ritsin.com

In the window, among the usual Lululemon outrages mottos and statements was:

“Hare Krishna”

For whatever reason, that’s the inappropriate and appropriated action from Lululemon that has pushed me over the edge. Go figure.

If that doesn’t give you the same sense of outrage, I noted a few days ago a piece at the Huffington Post — which I avoid in general — about Lululemon’s purposeful shunning of “plus-sized shoppers.” Here’s a link, and a little from it:

Margaret Bogenrief, co-founder and partner at ACM Partners, a boutique financial advisory firm, said consumers shouldn’t be shouting at retailers like Lululemon and Abercrombie. They’re very particular brands that appeal to a distinct customer base that has been carved out over time, she said. Angry customers would be better served by targeting mass-market retailers like Target and Old Navy to change the plus-size shopping world, she added.

Retailers like Lululemon and Abercrombie shouldn’t sell plus-size clothing because it would be bad for business, since the larger sizes doesn’t mesh appropriately with their brands, according to Bogenrief.

“They hate unhealthy living, and for better or worse, plus-size people aren’t included in that,” she said, referring to the company’s culture. “Lululemon is very image conscious. That’s why women are shelling out $100 for a pair of pants they could get at Target for $20.”

Bogenrief went on to say that executives are simply doing what they think is best for Lululemon’s bottom line and the retailer is not alienating its own customers — just people who wouldn’t shop there anyway. Still, she admitted that Lululemon’s decision to stay away from plus sizes is “wrapped in an ugly package,” and the company could improve outreach to women who feel left out.

Yes, I’m piling on a bit. But if you think I should have turned the other cheek, I’d encourage you to read the Mahabharata and see how fired up Krishna can and does get (to mix my religious metaphors).

Chakras can do some damage.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

4 thoughts on “This might be Lululemon going too far”

  1. When I took my 200 hour teacher training it amazed me that from the back of the room my fellow trainees were a sea of Lululemon symbols. I’ve had friends become Lululemon ambassadors but I’ve just never had luck finding clothes that look good enough on me to be worth their prices. Now I know why, and it’s disheartening. As a size 10/12, I just don’t think of myself as a “plus” size, that’s where I was heading before I got serious about yoga and improving my health for sure, but not where I am now.
    I practice Ashtange and teach a vinyasa style yoga. As a teacher I have learned that you can’t tell from looking at a new student how their practice will be. Duh, right? But it was part of my learning. Some of my heavier, perhaps even “plus” size students come in and attend to their practice. They are often stronger and more flexible than their skinnier counterparts. It’s Lululemon’s loss that they have nothing to offer these women. And overall, I would prefer my classes not to look like a sea of Lululemon symbols from behind.
    Hmm… I still get their emails. That’s one thing I can put a stop to.

  2. never mind plus sized women’s clothing! I am fit, normal sized woman (5’7, 140 pounds), and I can’t fit into any of the lululemon (size large) pants! Half the stuff looks like children’s size. What’s up with that? Is everybody that tiny?

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