Lululemon yoga pants are being recalled, and the upscale workout gear maker admits that a large portion of their current offering of bottoms has a problematic fabric opacity issue that could cause embarrassment for some wearers.
Over the weekend, Lululemon yoga pants were pulled from shelves amid the discovery, and the company says that nearly one in five pairs of their line of bottoms were affected by the fabric sheerness issue.
Due to the Lululemon yoga pants recall, the athletic wear maker says that in the interim, shortages of bottoms are to be expected in their stores as inventory meeting their retail standards is brought in to replace the affected items. In premarket trading Tuesday, shares of Lululemon dropped $3.45 (5.2 percent) to $62.45 per share.
In a release, Lululemon Athletica Inc. addressed the Lululemon yoga pants recall, describing first the reasons the pants were pulled from shelves.
The company explains that the “ingredients, weight and longevity qualities of the pants remain the same but the coverage does not, resulting in a level of sheerness in some of our women’s black Luon bottoms that falls short of our very high standards.” Luon is the proprietary fabric used in much of Lululemon’s athletic apparel.
The issue was pinned on supplier Eclat Textile Co., the Wall Street Journal reports. The paper explains that Lululemon “closely watches shoppers in its stores for signs of what is and isn’t catching on to get its products right, but also “likes to keep them scarce, a large part of its strategy under Christine Day, who has been chief executive since 2008.”
The WSJ quotes Day as explaining the strategy last year in an interview, noting a Lululemon “guest knows that there’s a limited supply, and it creates these fanatical shoppers.”
A 2012 filing noted that Lululemon is aware of the scarcity issue posed by the Luon fabric and the company said it “may experience a significant disruption in the supply of fabrics or raw materials from current sources or, in the event of a disruption, we may be unable to locate alternative materials suppliers of comparable quality at an acceptable price, or at all.”
As the issue is resolved, Lululemon yoga pants purchasers are being offered refunds for the sheer fabric garments.