Lululemon drops the ball and JCPenney picks it right up for a social yoga pant moment

posted on: Sunday, 10 November 2013


You may have noticed earlier last week we retweeted a statement and picture from the JCPenney account. We had a few questions, following said reweet, as to why this was a relevant tweet to share, so here's the explanation. We'll move from a quick Lululemon press disaster to a more recent one, and let's just say that JCPenney were perfectly placed to reap all the benefits of offering sizing for all women, and boy did they take advantage of it. 

Let's start with Lululemon, the famed yoga wear company that has made millions off of women swearing by their products. You may remember earlier this summer the company suffered a major setback after it was discovered that their products were sheer in not-so-appropriate places and were also prone to piling. After a major recall, the company suffered some quite public problems. The CEO resigned and the stock continued to plummet as a result of current events. Yet, the diehards continued to purchase the product (myself included). 

Then we have the end of July 2013, when the Huffington Post published an article based on an ex-Lululemon employee coming forward and claiming that the store purposefully discriminates against plus size women. Women around the world let it be known, via every social media network available, that this treatment was not acceptable.

However, in bringing this all back full circle as to why JCPenney would choose to tweet about their yoga pants coming in all sizes, we have new comments from Lululemon this week that left the company open for further criticism, and made for perfect timing for JCPenney's social play. 

Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson went on Bloomberg TV to talk Lululemon and recent returns last week. He stated that just like women wear the wrong seat belts or the wrong purse, "quite frankly some women's bodies just don't work for [Lululemon]." What on earth that little precursor about a seat belt means, we have no idea? Is he referring to the seat belt extensions that are needed for people that are overweight on airplanes? God only knows. He then corrects himself moments later stating that he thinks every woman can in fact wear Lululemon pants, it just matters how you use it. Hmmmm. Interesting.

Here's the full interview to watch, and we'll let you form your own opinions-


Now, people went a bit mad after watching this interview, understandably. Twitter, Facebook and bloggers all had something to say about Lululemon founder Chip Wilson's comments. So, he took to social media to apologise for his actions, specifically apologising to his employees rather than the offended customers. 

Here's the Chip Wilson apology video-


Of course, people say the wrong things in interviews all the time. And of course we believe in second chances. But to be hit twice inside of three months with allegations of discrimination towards, what is considered, plus size women, has got to hurt at Lululemon. It must hurt even more as the brand markets itself as a happy brand all about helping women reach goals and better themselves.

Now this all leads us to the topic at hand - JCPenney. When it comes to picking up the pieces when another company seems to have dropped all of theirs, JCPenney wins the award this week. Stating you have yoga pants to fit all sizes is just a fantastically brilliant way to pick up on a major media misstep. We've never tried their yoga pants, but with just one tweet we're being lead straight into store next time we pop over onto US soil. 

Here's the question we have for you. Are you outraged, indifferent or confused by why Lululemon is getting so much press over these statements? 

Feel like shopping yoga pants? Judge the competitors: Lululemon vs. JCPenney