At this point, it’s almost too easy to write an article about yet another Lululemon Athletica PR problem. What makes this time different is the yoga wear company may have learned a lesson from its mistake. What exactly did Lululemon do? It began banning customers who re-sold lululemon products—even if it was a single pair of run shorts.
Eric Lewis is one of the customers targeted by the company. He’s been purchasing running gear from Lululemon for years and owns about 35 pairs of their Pace Breakers shorts. When he decided to sell a pair of ill-fitting shorts on eBay, Lululemon called and informed him they would no longer ship him products.
“I just kind of felt victimized,” he told CTV News, in Canada. “I’m such a loyal fan I’ve supported their business for a long time and then for them to go after me for something like this just blew my mind. I was shocked.” He added Lululemon may lose him as a customer due to this situation.
Lewis was one of several customers to receive similar calls. Customers were also reportedly banned from buying products on the Lululemon site if the company saw a pattern of people buying and then reselling their products at a higher price.
Lululemon has a strict return policy stating no product can be returned used or after two weeks. The company website states, “We completely recognize that once someone purchases our product they can do what they want with it. We do not, however, support those who acquire large volumes of our product to resell at an elevated price point.”
In most reported cases of customers being banned from the site, they were simply trying to get rid of gear that didn’t fit properly, or they no longer wanted.
Such was the case for Starla Samson, who is part of a Facebook group for swapping and selling used Lululemon gear below retail price. She was banned from shopping the Lululemon online store.
“I was furious to be honest. I was devastated, I was embarrassed, I was humiliated,” she shared with CTV News. “We’re not selling ammunition, we’re selling yoga pants.”
In some cases, Lululemon reportedly went so far as to block the IP addresses of computers linked to people selling their products online.
Sunday night, Lululemon recognized the controversy and released a statement about the situation, promising to make amends.
“We looked into it and realized that we had indeed gone too far, and have taken steps to fix it as quickly as possible. Our approach is simply intended to limit major reselling which results in assortments not being available to all of our guests. We are reaching out to apologize to the guests who were impacted.”
Image from wellsphere.com
February 19th, 2014