Lululemon has attracted controversy similar to that endured earlier this year by Abercrombie & Fitch after it was alleged by a former employee that the brand deliberately underserves larger sized customers.
The Lululemon plus size debacle comes in a shaky year for the luxury lifestyle brand and a very public embarrassing recall involving immodest yoga pants.
Before Lululemon was under fire for hiding its bigger sizes (sizes not even in the “plus size” range) in the backs of stores in heaps, the brand came under fire for selling loads of yoga pants that revealed a wearer’s delicates due to a fabric mishap.
The new allegations regarding Lululemon’s possible anti-fat strategy comes from former employee Elizabeth Licorish, who spoke to the Huffington Post about the store’s merchandising practices.
The site says:
“Most of the merchandise was presented out on the floor, hung on the walls, or folded neatly in cabinets for all the world to see. But the largest sizes — the 10s and the 12s — were relegated to a separate area at the back of the store, left clumped and unfolded under a table.”
“All the other merchandise in the store was kind of sacred, but these were thrown in a heap… It was definitely discriminatory to those who wear larger sizes.”
The site says Lululemon has, in the past, been accused of body shaming through its marketing, and even called to account back in 2010 on a “love your body” post published by the company.
HuffPo quotes one commenter as observing inconsistency in the message and the imagery:
“So what you’re saying is ‘Love your body… but not unless you’re skinny enough to fit into our clothes. How hypocritical. Your stores do not follow the philosophy you claim to follow.”
Lululemon has not addressed the brewing plus sizes controversy.