Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) said last week that it doesn't hide larger-sized versions of its yoga apparel—but it does limit its offerings to sizes 2 through 12, the Huffington Post reported on Friday (Aug. 2).
A former Lululemon associate, Elizabeth Licorish, had told the news outlet that garments in sizes 10 and 12 were usually outdated merchandise and were not put on display, but "thrown in a heap" at the back of the store. She claimed that the chain was discriminating against plus-size shoppers. The average dress size among U.S. women is 14, according to Women's Wear Daily.
But Lululemon said in a statement on its Facebook page that "Our product and design strategy is built around creating products for our target guest in our size range of 2-12. While we know that doesn't work for everyone and recognize fitness and health come in all shapes and sizes, we've built our business, brand and relationship with our guests on this formula. So it's important for us to maintain our focus as we innovate new products and expand our business internationally in the years ahead."
The statement was in response to "customer complaints," according to the New York Daily News.
The company also posted separately that it treats all sizes the same and that they are all fully stocked when they are released, and that it has no plans to expand beyond its current size range for women.
However, Lululemon is trying to expand into men's athletic apparel, and specifically to get more male customers to buy yoga merchandise. The chain was a sponsor of last month's Wall Street Decathlon, and offered free yoga classes to participants. Only two of about 150 male decathlon runners took the retailer up on the offer.
- See this Huffington Post story
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