Lulu Has Missed The Mark This Spring

Hello everyone,

I saw this article, it was widely shared in my groups and across Facebook, and I just had to write about it. I feel like I’ve been talking about the general lack of color and boredom I’ve been feeling surrounding Lululemon’s offerings for months. This is actually one of the reasons I’ve been writing about other things, like LuLaRoe. Finally, VINDICATION! The market has acknowledged my feelings regarding Lululemon lately, and the CEO has acknowledged my, and countless other fans’ opinions. Does Laurent Potdevin read my blog? Is he in the Lululemon Facebook groups? Because I think we all could have told him that Lululemon needed to produce more colorful “Spring” items. And can Lululemon PLEASE bring back the feminine details, ruffles, ruching and personal touches? I miss the little messages inside pockets or under cuffins. And where have those cuffins been anyhow? Have thumbholes been nearly completely done away with? I know that I am not alone in having noticed that items have been degraded and renamed. The Cool Racerbacks have been renamed to Cool Racerback 2, shortened, narrowed, and had the fabric “innovated” (read: cheapened). I can see it now, “Swift Tech Long Sleeve Crew! Now without thumbholes, silverescent and underarm venting!” Sounds like a terrifying future for the Lululemon we all love. Except that that last one is true. Some of the new LS Swiftlies have no underarm venting- it’s only a matter of time before “cost-cutting measures” become more important than retaining brand value, quality and innovation. I worry that that time has already come for many in Lululemon Leadership.

The Lululemon We All Love

But for some, the love is gone. I know that many of us remember staying up late waiting for upload. We would hop on a group, and comment in threads our upload predictions and wish lists. Ah, nostalgia. We’d share our shopping carts and share in the excitement that in a few days, we could share try-on reports and tell people who were curious but not interested enough to hit the “add to cart” button how we felt about our purchases. Were we in love? Did we return? Is this a future unicorn? What’s the concensus?

That excitement is gone. I no longer even remember to check upload night until I am reminded by a Facebook post. I certainly don’t “wait up”- or even get excited. I used to still be somewhat interested in WMTM uploads on Thursdays, but I almost never check anymore, even for the sale prices. And, while we’re on the topic: $9 off a $68 item, is not a sale. In fact, can we stop pretending that raising the price of a LS Swiftly from $68 to $78, then putting it on sale for $69 is a generous discount? This just means that instead of paying $10 extra for an item, we only have to pay $1 extra.

On Quality

Careful vs. Careless

It used to be that gaffs and quality issues were rare. So rare, indeed were these quality issues that they became scandals, reported on the blogs, and on news outlets and gossiped about within the community. I have spoken about quality before, on quite a few occasions. I remember a time when nearly every item on Lululemon’s website had 4-star and above reviews. I remember a more careful Lululemon, where fabric choices, fit and function were fundamental considerations, instead of the afterthought. I remember when I didn’t have to check to make sure that an item wasn’t 90% Polyester. I am not even going to touch the sizing inconsistencies, but what about function? Where have all the functional pieces been? Too much Leisure, not enough Athlete.

 

My Opinion On a Future Advertising Campaign

Recently, Lululemon has expressed an intention to start a formal ad campaign, a step away from their current community marketing campaign. Here are my thoughts on that:

I used to ignore Lululemon. I felt like they advertised directly to me. Even though they didn’t have a formal ad campaign, to me, it was everywhere. That positive, aspirational brand spoke to me. So, I ignored it because I don’t like being “sold” things. Then one day, I went in the store. Everything was so bright and fun. And the sales people were happy and treated me like a human- instead of a customer. And the stuff was pricey, but the details were delightful. I fell in love with Pace Setters and Paris Pink. Less than a year later, I had started a small collection and my obsession with the brand grew from there.

My point is that Lululemon did not need formal advertising to gain me, or the market share it has today. It needs to continue to rely on the viral marketing campaign it has relied on from the beginning, which is why keeping its core fan base happy is so important. Lulu, if you want, go ahead, hire more ambassadors, and give more people R&D discounts for being walking billboards, but in all honesty, a formal advertising campaign will help you sell only slightly more than what you already sell. And at what cost? Starting a formal ad campaign might cause your brand to lose cache. Additionally, Lululemon is known for its irreverence. Lululemon’s core supporters never left over Brahmacharya, we moved on. We keep buying the clothes and we move on. Or how about this? Or this? Well, Lululemon can’t go around offending people during a massive ad campaign. Mass appeal will mean that Lululemon will have to adjust its target audience from Ocean and Duke to Jane and John. Lululemon will lose its edginess, in favor of commercial appeal. Will Lululemon remain an aspirational brand? Maybe. However, I am concerned that the massive campaign will alienate core supporters.

Lululemon is more popular among women than Nike. Last year, Nike spent $804 million on “demand creation,” which included advertising, brand events and digital marketing. Lululemon’s marketing budget is nowhere to be found, and marketing expenses are rolled into general administrative expenses in SEC filings, so there is no official number I could find for them. Please link down below if you find one! The point is, Lululemon spends no where near that much on ads. And is outperforming Nike in the women’s athletic apparel market. An ad campaign is unlikely to make a huge difference, and Lululemon should be cautious with how it spends investor dollars.

My final thought on this is: Do it if you want to. Do it if you think you’ll make more money than you’ll spend on the campaign. But don’t do it for old school, big-money investors who don’t understand the current marketing model (viral) that is the very thing that helped bring LULU to where it is now.

The Future of Lululemon 

I think that someone needs to turn this company around and listen to the fans. This core group of influencers have been around for forever and have supported the brand through everything. This company has made some great moves this past year, like honoring “Dufflegate” and the Women’s Day discount. However, there has been plenty for people like me, true fans, to complain about. I think Lulu could get us to spend more, assuming they want to be a profitable company, if they returned to what made them popular. Some of their stuff doesn’t even look like Lululemon anymore. Lululemon is feminine, attractive, youthful and fit. Not boxy, drab, tired and frumpy. But that is what the designs evoke lately. Lululemon’s future depends on a triumphant return to what made them popular in the first place. Those fun designs, those functional, durable pieces that have a go-anywhere, do-anything attitude!

 

UPLOAD: Grey, Grey, Grey, Grey, Black, Swim, Dark Blue, and Grey.

Spring? Spriiiing!? Where are you? It was 27 Celsius (warm!) and Sunny yesterday. I thought Spring was here! Spring? The equinox has come & gone. Daylight Savings time is over, Sping is officially here! Except it’s nowhere to be found! At least it is next to completely abscent from Lululemon’s most recent upload! 

Grey.
Wunder Unders, in an array of lengths and rises. And if you don’t like Wunder Unders in this print, why not try some Inspire Tights? “Buy our collection of Cityscape Grey items: Just in time for Spring!”


For the record, this color is actually called “arrow jacquard battleship silver spoon.”

Oh, you don’t like this grey? Please, try one of our other Shades of Grey. We heard that Shades of Grey are a popular thing among our target market!


This one on the left is called “sea spray alpine white dark chrome.” And the one on the top right is called “slate/ white,” while the bottom one is called “bit point ice grey black.” Will you buy these grey items?

Grey is fine and good. I have some grey in my wardrobe. But where are the bright pinks? Where are the Bleached Coral, Beach Blanket Blue, Ray, Lilac colors? Give me a pastel! To be clear, there are some “colors” on Lululemon.com. They include Dark Olive, Deep Rouge and Midnight Navy. These are all dark colors. Great for Fall and Winter, but the literal opposite of what I, an many others, crave right now! Spring. 

Come on, Lulu, Bring on the Spring.

 Just my opinion, tell me yours in the comments!

We Made Too Much Predictions

Hello everyone!

Hope your day is going super! I just wanted to take some time to talk about the most recent upload and recently uploaded items. This post is going to talk about my predictions for what will go on sale. Disclaimer: I am not clairvoyant. I can not actually tell you what will go on sale, some of the things I predict will go to WMTM will actually just end up in the outlets. Also, some may not end up on sale at all. In addition, these are just MY opinions. What I think will make it to WMTM is not even necessarily a reflection of the attractiveness of the item and I explain my reasoning for each below. So, if you like an item, go ahead and buy it! Who knows!? Maybe I am wrong and it will become a coveted Unicorn!

 This is being written before Tuesday evening, which means that by the time you read this these items may not be the very most recently uploaded. 

The first item that I predict will end up on markdown is the “Easy As” jacket. It comes in Dark Olive, Midnight Navy & Black. It’s made from Glyde fabric which is water repellent. At $168, for what is a very plain-looking jacket, in my opinion, it isn’t worth it. I will not be surprised when I see this on markdown.


The second item I predict will make it to the sale rack is the NTS Jacket. The fabric on these jackets actually feels nice, but to me, the shape is not as flattering as many of the other offerings that Lululemon has. This jacket also looks a little short on the models, although, they may be 5’10 or taller even, given the industry. To sum this jacket up: It looks boxy. It retails for $128. I think they can knock off $30, sell it for under $100, and still make a decent profit. 

The next item in my WMTM prediction list is this Sole Training Short Sleeve *UV Protection. This, in my opinion, is actually a really pretty T-Shirt. However, I also think it is slightly overpriced. I will not be surprised to see it on sale for $15- $20 less than its current retail of $68.

The next WMTM prediction is the Smooth Stride bra. Many of Lululemon’s non-core collection bras end up on the sale rack, so I feel like this is a really safe prediction for at least a $10 savings. The Smooth Stride retails for $58. I am especially optimistic in terms of it ending up on sale for this bra in the Henna color (bottom of photo), and I also feel safe predicting that most other (if not all other items) in this Henna color will end up on the sale rack. My opinion is that it is too close to a flesh tone for many would-be buyers.

The final item I predict will end up in WMTM are the Reveal 7/8th Crops. These are pretty cute, actually, but the mesh, that is shown in the right-most photo looks large and therefore fragile, in my opinion. I can see it now, one day, I’m walking along in my Reveal crops, the next, something gets snagged on those large holes. Additionally, I feel that the mesh is overdone in these and by Lululemon lately in general. But for the mostpart these scream fragile to me, and I just can’t afford $118 tights that I’m afraid to wear. 

What do you think will make it to WMTM? Let me know in the comments! Do you agree with my predictions? Disagree? I would love to hear from you!

May 17, 2017 UPDATE 

I found the Easy As jacket on sale for $129

I found the NTS jacket on sale for $79

Also spotted the Smooth Stride bra for $34

Calling ALL Current and former LuLaRoe Consultants:What Do You Think?

*LuLaRoe Consultants, current and former, please fill out this survey!*

Hello everyone! I recently wrote a post where I did my best to show the difference between Lululemon and LuLaRoe. I admitted in my post that I had never tried LuLaRoe, and the truth is that I really want to learn more, so I can do a better job of writing about it. I am very curious about this recent phenomenon, but there isn’t a comprehensive source online where I can learn about it. I have written a survey. It’s as long or as short as you want to make it. There are 3 multiple choice questions, and 4 open answer questions where you can write as much or as little as you like. I’m not collecting email addresses. I won’t and can’t sell your information, since I don’t receive it, so it’s all completely anonymous. I am just genuinely curious about your experiences and I want to write a better blog post than the last one I wrote describing LuLaRoe. I want to know what I’m missing, both good and bad. I want to hear what you really think. If you LOVE LULA, I want to hear all about it! If you were enchanted once, and are no longer, please let me know!

My goal is to reach a better understanding of the business opportunity so that I can tell other people about it. If I get enough responses, I will be writing a follow-up post. Please help me help future LuLaRoe consultants learn about the business!

Thank you in advance for any guidance you can give.

PS: I am not now, nor do I intend to become a LuLaRoe consultant. Just a curious lady who wants to hear your story 🙂

 

 

 

 

Quick Updates- Lululemon Upload Spoilers

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to post a quick update. I saw some Facebook updates from different Lululemon stores and if you just can’t wait to find out until tomorrow, well, it looks like we’re getting a new To & From capsule.


Pictured above are the Love Tee III, Vinyasa Wrap II and Get Ready Jogger Swift.

Note: It says “Get Ready Jogger Swift” on the post, but I wonder if the “Swift” is simply the fabric. I will update as soon as I find out!

Also: Here’s a sneak peak of a new pattern coming out tomorrow!


Looks interesting. It would be amazing in a bright color! Says me: lover of all bright colors.

Let me know what you think! And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Invigorate 7/8 Tight & Fast And Free Tight Fit Review

Hello Friends!

Thanks for stopping by! I am so glad I found time to get into the Lululemon store this weekend! I did really want to try out the new Invigorate Tights, since I heard that they are replacing the Inspire Tights. I prefer the Inspire Crops to the Inspire Tights, but will still miss them if they’re phased out forever.

I found the compression of these to be very similar to the Inspire Tights, and the fit was similar too. Definitely true to size, in my opinion. I enjoyed the fit, but didn’t love them- so they stayed at the store. I also didn’t love the print- Daisy Dust Alpine White Black/ Black- but I am curious as to whether my store will receive the Deep Rouge or not. Very  pretty color, that Deep Rouge. As always, quality matters, and fabric is an indicator of quality. That said, the black ones I tried on were 77% Nylon/ 23% Lycra. The printed ones I tried on were 69% Nylon and 31% Lycra, and were lined in white, for those of us who like to be aware of these things.

Next, I tried the Fast And Free Tight. These are amazing. You might be able to size down, I stayed true to size. The main thing I loved about these was that they were incredibly comfortable. The fabric was so soft and light, but I didn’t feel that they showed my flaws the way other non-compressive legging do. They are the “Naked Sensation” and definitely have that ‘barely there’ feeling with only light compression. Of course, they are a forgiving black, perhaps another color may have been less forgiving. These boast 83% Nylon and 17% Lycra. Main drawback, and one of the things that made me leave them in the store: they retail at $128. I may reconsider on markdown, or if they come out in another color.

I found another picture of these! 


The girl in the back is also wearing the Invigorate Tights! She looks amazing in them!

Upload: Signs of Spring

Hello everyone! 

I am actually pretty happy about the upload this week. I don’t love everything (the Glide and Stride line is mostly not my style), but I can see signs of life (Spring) in Lululemon’s color palette. And this pleases me.

First off, I did notice that the Define jacket I saw in the listing for the headband a week ago has been uploaded, so if you’re in need of a red Define jacket, there is one online now. I already have the Diamond Jacquard Berry Space Dye Define, so I likely will not get this one, but it is a pretty color. Also: it’s not black or some variation of black.

Now, on to other things.

I am a very big fan of the new Veridian Green items. All the Swiflies look fabulous in this color. 

I also noticed a few items in the new Lip Gloss color

While I do like this color, it looks so similar to Boom Juice, I’m afraid to add any of it to my collection without seeing it in-store first. I hope I can do a color comparison for y’all!

I really like this new Smooth Stride tank. It’s made of Seriously Light Luxtreme. I don’t love the sea spray alpine white dark chrome color, but am liking the Veridian green. The black one is nice too, but… it’s black. 

While I know that people are always excited to see new Align colors, doesn’t Blueberry Jam just look like a slighty brighter version of Midnight Navy? I know a lot of you out there would love to have both, but do you need both? Are these different enough to justify having both? Let me know what you think. I would probably choose Blueberry Jam. Which would you choose?

Finally, these new Wunder Unders caught my eye. I would LOVE to see them in person!

This color is called Heathered Deep Navy. It is gorgeous.

Did you like anything this time around? What do you think about the new colors? Let me know in the comments!