Lululemon for anyone that doesn’t know, is an athletic apparel store for, men and women, mostly dedicated to yoga-wear and workout clothing, but slowly moving into the day-to-night market as well. They have been extremely successful in the workout retail division, especially for women who enjoy yoga or wearing yoga attire. Lululemon is also known for having yoga, running, weight training and other fitness classes for the public to attend.
Although Lululemon has grown into a global business from one store in 1998 in Vancouver to over 270 locations worldwide, every company has it’s period of decline. For Lululemon it was when in March of 2013 due to their recall on leggings for being too shear, this caused a large sales reduction for them and other issues as well.
A new company called Kit and Ace has been introduced into the similar market of Lululemon. The founders of Kit and Ace are entirely backed by the founders of Lululemon due to a large issue in the Lululemon board of directors. Kit and Ace is still in its introductory stage as a business, but they plan to grow globally and appeal to the same target market as Lululemon.
I found this article to be extremely relative to what we are learning in class when it comes to quality control and operations strategy in a global environment. Dealing with quality control is definitely a topic that relates to Lululemon and their product recall. We learned the importance of implicating quality for companies because it can help or hinder a company’s reputation, which in this case the lack of quality on hundreds of thousands of leggings has definitely hindered Lululemon. It caused many customers from all over the world to lack confidence in their product and be cautious when it comes to purchasing this product. Kit and Ace is definitely going to use the quality control issue of Lululemon to help improve their own quality control and it’s possible that customers will become more loyal to them instead.
One thing that Lululemon has over Kit and Ace without a doubt is their operational strategy with expanding their company globally. Lululemon has a globally known name, it’s not just a Vancouver store, it’s grown into a well known company in all different countries. Lululemon realized how important it was for them to globalize because they saw it would improve the supply chain, reduce costs, improve operations, understand markets, improve products, and attract and retain global talent. Rather than staying a locally known store, they now have facilities closer to unique resources in different countries. They have reduced costs with lower direct and indirect costs with foreign locations. Lululemon’s competitive advantage is definitely differentiation because they chose to use unique material to create their products which have attracted customers who are into not only fitness but comfortable everyday wear as well. Kit and ace will need to work on global expansion by using the experienced and professional operational strategy of Lululemon.
Have you ever had anything recalled that you’ve owned? If so, did that recall cause you to think differently about the company?
How important is quality control to a company?
Could there be a competition between Lululemon and Kit and Ace now with customers cautious about Lululemon products?
6 thoughts on “Lululemon’s Potential Competitor May Have An Advantage Due to Product Recall”
I have heard many stories about Lululemon and different problems they are having. I do not know whether or not this particular issue is about the “see through yoga pants” issue, but if so I would pin this on quality control and designers. Luckily nothing that I have owner has been recalled, however this is something they need to fix. I think quality control needs to accommodate for all body types, not just skinny yoga types. I think that there will be a little competition going on , but for the most part I think lululemon will stay ahead because it is a well known brand and ace and kit haven’t been exposed to the rest of the country as much.
This was a really interesting article that you chose to write about. I think we can agree that Lululemon has had a ton of expansion and growth happen within the last few years. The yoga pants recall definitely affected customers’ perspectives and probably lost them a good amount of business.
I, personally, have never had anything that I’ve purchased, recalled. It seems like such a hassle for customers and would probably make me very frustrated with the company I was dealing with. I think quality control is one of the most important elements of operations. A company can produce a ton of one product but what good is it if it can’t be used by customers. We encountered this issue with the “paper puppet” activity in class when, at the end, none of our puppets could be used for sale. It is frustrating to both customers and company management when things are not done right.
Lululemon is always subject to competitors as the market for activewear continues to expand and be at the forefront for consumers. I do agree with the above post that Lululemon has such an advantage because of the reputation they have built. The recall did pose a problem, but I still know many people shopping at Lulu and enjoying their experience. I think the yoga pants issue was a small bump in the road and, for now, Lululemon will continue to be one of the top retailers for activewear.
This is an informative post with very clear ideas, good job with that! I have actually never had any purchase recalled but could see how some customers would not be too happy and brand loyal from that moment on. I think there is always room for competition, unless you are the very best, at which point there would be a kind of monopoly. Lululemon may not have Kit and Ace as a competitor yet, but maybe if Kit and Ace expands to the same level Lululemon currently is at, there could be a possible competition.
Lululemon I think is one of the brands I tend to see a lot around the city. Moving from a small town I had no idea what this brand was that so many people were wearing. I have bought a few things from the store and have had good luck with the brand so far. I can see where having the see through yoga pants could be a large problem that could cause loyal customers to go to other stores. I believe since lululemon is has grown so fast and so many customers enjoy the product it will take a lot for kit and ace to catch up to them
Although Lululemon had to recall their products, they still have advantage over Kit and Ace because of how big the company is. For now, I don’t think that competition should be an issue. I have not had an experience where I owned a product that was recalled. Lululemon recalling their products reminds me of when Toyota recalled their cars. It hurt their reputation, however, they are starting to rebuild their reputation like how Lululemon is. Quality control is extremely important because that is how reputation is built.
I remember when the Lulu pants were being recalled and my whole gym was talking about it. Having a good pair of workout pants is so important to us woman. Working out with confidence without having to worry about if your underwear is showing is very important especially for those that do yoga. I think that as Lulu has been getting bigger, their clothing quality has been decreasing. Not to mention their weird sizes and totally ridiculous CEO’s comments that fat women shouldn’t wear his clothes. Lulu has great potential but they need to also step up their game and really focus on quality, sizing, and hiring workers with good work ethic. I have walked to Lulu many times and i’ve seen employees trying on clothes instead of helping customers. Many people complain about the workers. They need an overall in this department to keep their die hard consumers coming back for more. Many people joke that once you try on Lulu clothes, you are hocked for life. While this is not true fro most, there is absolutely a core of people that buy only Lulu.