Someone recently shared this list with me, and I want to have a chat about it. The list is entitled “Weird Rules that Lululemon Employees Have to Follow.” It was recently shared with me on Facebook and I just have to comment. I have so many friends that either work at Lululemon or used to work at Lululemon and I just need to talk to you about their experiences as well as the contents of this list and how it was collected. You can find the original list by clicking the link above, but I will go through the rules one by one to tell you what’s true and what’s not.
1. You Must Refer to the Ideal Lululemon Customer as “Ocean”
Not entirely true. Although Lululemon states that their “ideal customer” is a woman named Ocean, it’s not heresy or anything to not talk about customers in reference to Ocean. In fact, many stores consider their local market before they think about what “Ocean” would want or wear because it’s the local market that is shopping which helps that store earn money and make their sales goals. Trust me, before the manager asks “What would Ocean wear?” she’s asking herself “Will Southerners want to wear Scuba hoodies in the Summer?”
2. You Have to Attend Lectures on Willpower
Under this heading, the author also mentions that you “You also have to watch videos on the importance of setting goals.”
I have never heard any of my friends talk about lectures on willpower, but the original author of the article that this is based on said that she did have that experience during training- but I need to unpack this article from Ranker a bit more.
So, under this heading on “lectures” the author of this article for “Ranker” links out to an article written in Cosmopolitan’s online magazine and the author of that Cosmo article is discussing an excerpt about someone else’s experience working at Lululemon. You can read the article in Cosmo here.
The author of the Cosmo article states that “After group yoga, the mornings were for lectures on willpower and videos on the importance of goal setting.” However, the author of the Cosmo article isn’t the original author of the experience working at Lululemon. He is simply restating some things mentioned by the original author in an article for Salon.
The original author in the article for salon says that “After group yoga, the mornings were for lectures on willpower and videos on the importance of goal setting starring company founder Chip Wilson” Maybe it was this 1-minute long clip? I actually didn’t get the impression that the original author was complaining about it- but subsequent articles make it seem like the goal setting experience was negative or onerous somehow. I just think she may have found it odd or at the very least different from most onboarding procedures at other clothing companies. And that, I can certainly agree with- it IS different. I don’t think a lot of other clothing companies care about what your longterm goals are. And, honestly, I wouldn’t mind being paid for a goal setting session!
So, anyways, this article for Ranker is based on an article for Cosmo that is based on the original author’s content in Salon- but it doesn’t link to her in the article.
3. You Can’t Chat or You’ll Get Fired
No one I spoke to said that you’re not allowed to chat. When I go into my local store employees are always chatting with one another about some new thing they received in-stock or about what song is playing on the store’s music system or about some class they attended, etc… However, it is a pretty busy environment, so if you’re chatting when you should be educating* a guest* then you might get reprimanded. Educating= talking about the features of products in an attempt to sell them. Guests= customers.
In this “Ranked” article, they link to this article by someone who worked at Lululemon who talks about gossipping, but not about “chatting.” Here’s what she says about gossipping, which, in my opinion, is not akin to chatting. “Background conversation (i.e. gossiping) will get you fired.” The word ‘chatting’ is not mentioned anywhere in her article.
However, employees are expected to continue to work out constantly and practice yoga together on their off-hours.
Regardless of the inaccurate attribution, this person is actually correct in that employees are expected to attend fitness classes when they are not at work. If you work at Lululemon, they will pay the fees of a certain number of fitness classes per week (PT=1, FT=2). The management does expect that people will use these classes. I’ve heard that people do feel pressured to go workout even though they don’t have time, etc… That’s unfortunate, and honestly, since the company is not paying employees to do that, I don’t think that anyone should feel obligated. But hey, it’s free advertising for the company, and if you’re interested, it’s a free $20 Pure Barre class for you.
Final thoughts on this one: You are not “excommunicated” if you don’t do yoga. However, you are expected to participate in both paid and unpaid fitness classes with coworkers.
6. You Must Live by a Strict Diet
I hope you found my assessment of the accuracy of this article at least somewhat informative. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions. I am also happy to clarify any of the statements I made above. I am truly interested in your feedback if you have any for me. If you have worked at Lululemon, the experiences of the people I know may not be inclusive, so if you have had any of these experiences in the same spirit expressed by the author of the Ranked article, please feel free to comment below and tell me about them. I would love to hear from you. Alternatively, certainly if you agree with my above assessment, I’d also be happy to hear from you!
As always, thank you so much for reading!