Monday, October 31, 2011

New! Arabesque Bag

This is the bag we saw on the website as a sneak peek a few weeks ago.


New in Store Today! Apres Pullover, Live Simply in Plum, Scuba Hoodie in Plum Stripe....So Many Things!!

Run: Apres Pullover Black Swan and Coal 
This is another high pile 'sherpa' fleece pullover and since it comes in Black Swan I think I will give it a try. I love the cuffed hem of the Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover but I think the neckline and color in this one will be more my preference. 





 Heathered Black Swan/Plum Stripe Scuba. 
This one is gorgeous and I considered getting it this morning but decided to wait a few days


Lululemon Continues to Oversell Inventory Online

For the third week in a row lululemon has had major inventory to purchaser disparity on there online store.  The problem first ocurred with the Gratitude Wraps and then the Cuddle Up Jackets and now the Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover. I'm not sure why this has continued to happen after the Gratitude Wrap debacle where peoples paypal funds for multiple attempted orders where held for 30 days (reduced if you chased down lululemon who was able to override the hold to 5 days-- but you have to call them first and ask them to do this). Customers can usually deal with minor mistakes in shipping or ordering, particularly when the issues are recognized and dealt with immediately, but when the problem continues to occur and the issue of overselling inventory online and holding funds indefinitely becomes a trend then your customers loose respect for your ability to handle ecommerce and they feel like you are not taking seriously the problem with taking your customers money as an interest free loan.

I have serious hesitation now with using the ecommerce site after I had my own issues with ordering this past upload. When the Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover was uploaded on Thursday I was up early and placed my order at 6:30am while there was plenty of inventory available. I paid by Gift Card which is usually the fastest method online since they can immediately debit the card. My order went to 'processing' and several hours later the pullovers had sold out. By early friday, many of the people that placed later orders while the stock started to dwindle where receiving shipping notices while the rest of us who placed orders when there was plenty of inventory where waiting to here one way or another what was going on with our orders. Living in Vancouver near Lululemon headquarters, my orders are usually processed and shipped within the same day, by next morning at the latest. On Friday afternoon I decided to call GEC to see what was up with my order since the item had sold out. I was told it was still processing and would likely be filled, they were just busy and again 'really overwhelmed with the amount of orders that went thru on Thursday'. If I didn't get a shipping notice by Friday evening I should call them back.  Saturday I left a post on the lululemon facebook page since I didn't have the time or the patients to wait for another 15 minutes on hold with the GEC, the response was that I should call GEC. Unfortunatly the educator that took my call was not able to see my order past what I was able to see and so he could not cancel my order and refund the money and he could not see if the order would be filled eventually. He promised that a GEC specialist educator with more ability to look at my order would call me the next morning but that call never came. Sunday afternoon I had to leave several posts on the main Lululemon facebook page before I had GEC call me back, promptly, after a more terse post. I had waited on hold for 20 minutes with them before the call timed out and so I was getting increasingly frustrated that my money was being held without a product allotted to my order and I just wanted my order cancelled and my money returned to me. When the educator called me back my order was able to be successfully cancelled but my gift card was not refunded until an hour later when I posted again on the facebook page that although my order was cancelled I still did not have my money back. The worst part of this entire fiasco was that I had to constantly chase down, and hound and be annoying in order to get a refund for my money. Not all customers will be as proactive in getting a resolution when they are discouraged after first attempting to get a resolution and are on hold for 20 minutes. If instead of an apology they are met with 'well were really busy and overwhelmed with the volume of orders that occured on Thursday' they may be discouraged from pushing back for there refunds. Trust me, I don't want to be bitchy when calling GEC and I don't want to take a terse tone when leaving posts on the Lululemon facebook page because the problem is not the educators that are on the front lines and getting a major shit fest thanks to this issue, the problem is in the inventory issues and in how the educators are expected to deal with the resulting unhappy customers by the company. They need to have a better policy on how to cope with dissatisfied customers and offer prompt refunds. Operations management needs to do something to ensure this does not repeatedly happen and if it does there needs to be more available educators to handle call volume. It's not fair to the customer and it is not fair to the employees having to field these calls. Empower all of your front line employees to be able to resolve customer order issues promptly. Repeatedly waiting on hold for 15-20 minutes and having your call dropped is not good customer service. 

It's frustrating enough to have oversell issues happen to you as an online shopper and to see them repeatedly happening week after week but to have such hassle in trying to get your money reinstated is unacceptable. For customers that had to attempt several times to place an order using paypal and to have up to 4 order holds on their paypal accounts for up to 30 days is completely unacceptable. Having to repeatedly call, wait on hold, dig out your order information and relay the same information over and over again is time consuming and burdensome to your customers. My goal with this post is not to rant but to show lululemon this issue from the perspective of a dissatisfied customer, because only then will they take this issue seriously and hopefully change the inventory system that is failing them and hopefully they can address the issues with customers quickly and with understanding. 

This is an email response from Barnes and Noble for overselling a product which they followed up with giving the customer a generous discount for a future purchase.
This is the email response from Lululemon. Some of you received a $10 gift card and some of us have not.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Yogini Kids Clothes

Last week one of my blog advertisers, Frantic Fashion sent me a couple of items from one of the lines they are now carrying for kids called Yogini so that I could review them for you and offer my readers a further discount from what Frantic Fashions offers. Frantic Fashions is a 'one deal at a time site'. This means that each steeply discounted item that they offer you is only available for a limited amount of time. Once you've purchased your item from them it remains in your shopping bag where you can hold it while you wait for more items you may want to purchase and save on shipping, or you can have each item shipped as you purchase. I've seen some really great brands pop up on their site such as William Rast Jeans and Joe's Jeans. 

When I received these items for both of my daughters I was immediately in love with the little lulu like Yogini outfits that arrived within two days and was perfectly packaged. I got two jackets and two pants, size 2 and size 4. The size 2 outfit is this static charcoal and senorita pink 'still pants' and 'define jacket' (those aren't the actual names of the items but they are very much like the Lulu version). The Static Charcoal outfit is made out of spandex fabric but it's pretty much static luon (only its resistant to pilling) The Black and Very Violet outfit is made out of a french terry that feels so soft and luxurious, just like the Lulu Lux/Beechlu fabric. The fabrics are treated with Chito Sante which has many benefits such as making the fabrics durable, static free ( = non pilly, non pet hair magnetizing), anti-bacterial and odour resistant. The sizing ran a bit bigger than standard kids sizes which I appreciate because I buy my kids clothes big so that they grow into them. The length for both pants are quite long and I found my 4 year old was able to wear the size 2 or the size 4 with the legs rolled up. Both outfits fit very well on both kids and the added length of the pants as well as the stretchy fabrics will be very appreciated when they hit those inevitable and often growth spurts. I really love the value of these items, the 'Grooves' retail for $43 (Frantics price is $25.75) and the Contrast jacket retails for $57 (Frantics price is $32). Basic pocket pant 'Stills' retails for $40 (Frantic price is $24). These are great prices for kids clothes and I love that the sizes start at 2 and go to 14 since the Ivivva line is too big for my kids. 

For my lovely readers, Frantic Fashion is offering you a savings of $5 on the purchase of $5 and over (limit one use per account). Your discount code is 'Lulumum'. Please let me know what you get with your discount. I'd love to know what deals you scored. 



 Ruched neck colar with really great, durable zipper and a zipper guard. 
Cute little logo
 Perfectly sewn cuffins and thumbholes on the jackets. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Lululemon Shoppers Make Anti Occupy Wall Street Reference with 'Who Is Jon Galt' Ads

It's interesting to me that Lululemon has chosen to reference an anti  Occupy Wall Street campaign in their latest shoppers using the literary reference of John Galt from Atlas Shrugged.  Occupy Wall Street has roots here in Vancouver where the idea was started by Ad Busters, an anti consumerist group (read here). It's funny to me because Lululemon the corporation is trying to set themselves apart as being the 1%. Lululemon is asking US who John Galt is! Or, maybe they are telling us they are 'going Galt' against us the consumers by cutting back? I'm not sure, something to think about but at first blush it doesn't sit right and makes me very uncomfortable with what they are saying. Do I think the economic malaise that people are feeling right now is big bad corporations fault? Nope, not entirely. But I don't like a corporation which is seeing obscene profits using this reference as an ad campaign. Not unless they have chosen to shut down factories overseas and bring the work home to North America. What do you readers make of this? Will you as consumers proudly carry around this shopper at Christmas time? Are we elevating lululemon from mediocrity into ivory towers with our money?

**the message is capitalism rules and that socialism oppresses the innovation lululemon constantly strives for. Full disclosure, I have not read Atlas Shrugged, nor am I interested in reading it, but I am exploring the confrontational statement of 'Who is John Galt' and why lululemon is asking us this and why they are using this in their ad. I maintain my cynical view of a big corporation making obscene profits using this reference on shopping bags that consumers will carry around at Christmas as being arrogant, particularly in this depressed economic climate. Lululemon has made a blog post called Who Is Jon Galt? to explain their use of this ad as merely 'motivational' and they would like us to believe that the message is simply strive to be the best, however many of the comments on this post also  question why Lulumon would use such an offensive and radical ideology in their shoppers during a depressed economy. Did they knowingly post something so offensive or did they just not realize the deeper message of the book that customers are getting from the shoppers? 







Holiday 2011, Yogis occupying. 



Fit Report: Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover

So my order that I placed on Thursday at 6:30am is still in lulu limbo and processing even though I paid by gift card and now all sizes are sold out on the website. I decided to head out to my local lulu to see if I could snag one just in case my order gets cancelled and thankfully they did have them in for me to try on. I'm a bit on the fence with this one. I really like it in a lot of the photos I've seen, and I love the cozy factor of this but one thing about the fit is bugging me. The neckline, it's huge and narrow and really bulky so it doesn't sit properly on my neck. It sits like this all bunched up or it gets folded down and looks odd. I think what would have made the neckline a prettier cowl neck would have been a much wider neck opening, less bulk in the fabric and maybe less height. Or maybe even if it tapered to a wider base it would have sat better. I really love slouchy cowl necks so it's not that I have a problem with the idea of the design, it just doesn't work on me.  The fit overall is TTS for a slouchy look. I went with the 10 and although I could have done the 8 it would have hugged me in certain areas and lost the cozy slouchyness which I think this sweater needs. So what to do? Keep a sweater that I'll love using while at home watching a movie..maybe to and from Crossfit but probably not worn casually otherwise. I think if this came in some other colors like Pink or Persian Purple I'd be more inclined towards keeping it but neutrals don't really sway me unless the fit and design is totally spot on. 

Where is Quality Control?

These are quality control issues that have occurred in the last 2 months. 

A Gratitude Wrap with the elbow patches on both arms sewn on the inside of the elbow.


 This colorway of the Manifesto Long Sleeve has the word Scares misspelled Sacres

City Beat Pants in Black Denim were put on markdown (final sale, minimally marked down) and when people received them there were wide reports within a few days of seams in the rear splitting. 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heathered Black Swan Cool Racerback Tank!

Ooooh I love!! I'm gonna have to sell, sell, sell some items to get this COol Racerback Tank in Black Swan as well as the Heathered Dusty Rose and Currant. I love the heathered Black Swan but I also want a solid Black Swan. Why can't they just do a version of both???


New Running Luon Tight! Chase Tight

I hadn't even heard a whisper about these tights which is unusual but here they are! Chase Tights made out of running luon (dreamy! just like the inside of the Dog Runners) with a fold over waist. Aimee, who posted this picture took a pass on them because of a seam detail at the back of the leg, but she otherwise loved them.  Price is $98 and the fold over panel can cover about 3/4 of said 'not small' bum.

Inner Lining Of Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover

For the past few years I've been looking at some of the North Face fleece jackets with this same sherpa lining and I've often wished lulu would make something similar. It's so much warmer and cozier than the short pile fleece lulu usually uses and I think it also wears a bit better since the piles don't matte down as much. I'd love to see something from lulu that is this same long pile sherpa fleece on the inside as well as the outside at some point. 







New Photos of Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover and Cargo Harems

I don't normally like the Harem Crops but I like these ones, especially over a fuller butt. I think this version is nicely balanced with cargo pockets and the longer length leg without the very saggy crotch so they are at least a try on for me. Its interesting that this is the first 'certified' organic cotton item that lulu has had. They usually claim organic cotton without it being certified so I bet you these are made in Vancouver using the same fabric that was at the lab. 


High-Brow vs Low-Brow: Lululemon Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover vs. Old Navy Performance Fleece Cowl Neck Pullover

Now I did order the DHBH Pullover this morning but a few of you missed out in your size/color choice so went in search of more reasonably priced alternatives and posted this on Lulu This Just In. I have to admit I really kind of LOVE the old navy version pullover in Periwinkle. I'm going to see if my local store has it in today to save on shipping but $24.95 is kind of a fantastic price and a pretty color option. A few weeks ago someone posted an Old Navy Fleece Jacket that had running luon cuffs and I ended up seeing it in person. It was really nice and the running luon was IDENTICAL to lulu running luon opera cuffs (like last years Post Run Pullover) but I didn't love that it was a zip up so I passed. This pullover is way more my cup of tea. Thanks to those of you that post the links to these Lululemon like finds. 



Real Life Photos of The Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullover (Finally!)

Ok I'm loving the Ghost. Super happy to read that Lululemon Addict owns a white fleece jacket that has remained clean. 



Upload Thusday

I'm super excited that the Don't Hurry Be Happy Pullovers were uploaded this morning but I wish the few stores that have received them this week would have posted pictures so we see how it fits on different models and in different lighting. I ordered it in my upper size 10 so that it's still slouchy and relaxed but I'm not sure though, my Ambition Pullover which is a similar shape is perfect on me in an 8. I got it in Ghost but I'm a bit concerned about it looking nice over time. I'm not so much worried about it getting dirty but my husband pointed out that it will pick up fibres in different colors that will really stand out on it. We'll see, maybe I'll exchange it for the Coal one. I wish these had come out in other colors like Black Swan, Persian Purple, Paris Pink or Currant. That would make the decision so much easier since I'm not much of a neutrals person and would have loved any one of those colors. 

What did you guys get today?