Every Thursday, I will post an article up about the retail industry, the one industry that I feel the most experienced in. This week, I tackle the brouhaha brought about by the famed athletic wear company known as Lululemon. (Full Disclosure: I am a retail employee for a major accessories manufacturer and dealer)
From a business perspective, I feel that Lululemon has every right to segment and target the market that they wish to capture. If they want to go after already athletic, fit 20-40 somethings already doing yoga, then they should have at it. The problem that I have with them is that, in spite of their marketing and promotional activities, their values seem very distorted from the perspective of the casual observer; you’ll see images of fit, well toned men and women with flawless skin and perfect bodies, yet they promote an attitude of being as body positive as possible. When over a third of the US population is overweight, it’s kind hard not to ignore the disconnect that exists between the brand and reality, then again, a brand’s job is to introduce another reality to a consumer, who then purchases into and becomes a part of it.
We all know and are aware the fire that Abercrombie and Fitch received earlier this year, after comments made by the CEO went viral all over the internet. Abercrombie too segments and targets their markets in a surgical fashion, and up until recently, did so unapologetically. Lululemon seems to be in the same boat, trying to exclusively target it’s mark, but unlike A&F, it strives to maintain a positive image to the rest of the consumer base that it doesn’t attract. Lululemon would do very well to heed these wise words “If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything”. Of course, it may be a case of too little, too late for one of the founders of the company.
What are your thoughts on the recent controversy? Please share your thoughts below