Lululemon's Big Headache: See-Through Yoga Pants

There will be a shortage, so brace yourself

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 19, 2013 8:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Before you walk out the door wearing those Lululemon yoga pants, better check to make sure they're not see-through. The athletic wear company has pulled some of its black yoga pants from stores because the chain's signature fabric, Luon, came out too sheer, the Wall Street Journal reports. The problematic batch arrived in stores March 1, and customers who already bought a pair can get a refund. Lululemon says some 17% of its pants were affected and a pants shortage is expected. If your instinct is to crack a joke, know that this is actually seriously bad news for the company: Lululemon expects to lose as much as $20 million or more in sales for the quarter, and stock sank yesterday in response to the news.

The chain already keeps certain styles and colors in limited supply in order to create "fanatical shoppers," the CEO said in an interview last year, and the Hollywood Reporter describes Lululemon shoppers as "cult-like." The Journal indicates the snafu didn't come entirely out of left field: Lululemon had previously warned that its reliance on a single Luon manufacturer created a risky scenario. Still can't help yourself from snarking? Read Gawker's take, in which Caity Weaver bemoans a "brave new world" complete with "mothers selling their children at the night bazaar because they can no longer provide them adequate yoga pants."

In this photo released by lululemon athletica, Angela Yamashita strikes a dancer's pose at the end of a sunset photo shoot in Kakaako Park, Honolulu, Sunday, Aug 19, 2007.
In this photo released by lululemon athletica, Angela Yamashita strikes a dancer's pose at the end of a sunset photo shoot in Kakaako Park, Honolulu, Sunday, Aug 19, 2007.   (AP Photo courtesy of LuluLemon Atletica/Lucy Pemoni)
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