Lululemon – just in time for the holiday season – has alienated it’s base.
In case you’ve been living under a rock – Lululemon makes and sells very expensive yoga clothes. They are actually brilliant – well design (with button holes for iPod ears, pockets folds for an id), great colors and are able to be worn on the street without being obscene. Up until now I was amazed at how well they knew their market. They also had a funky web site where you could set up and tend to your goals (called a goaltender).
So then they put on their canvas, recyclable bags – “Who is John Galt” In case you don’t know – he is the a character in Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.” The character embodies selfishness. Not exactly how yogi’s and yogini’s like to think of themselves.
(And no, Sen. Rand Paul, the son of GOP candidate Rep. Ron Paul, was not named after the author, though he is reputed to be and Sen. Paul is a big fan of hers.)
As NPR reports –
That question is on shopping bags that Lululemon recently started to give out and it’s got some of the company’s core customers up in arms, vowing never to shop there again.
Yes, that would be me. I even called the company up and asked them to close my goaltender account. Guy Raz of All Things Considered asks:
RAZ: You mean, they don’t get into yoga after reading “Atlas Shrugged”?
HOUPT: I have yet to find a yogi who has done so.
The NPR interview is just a view minutes long and worth a listen. The company would not comment on the record about why they decided to do this. If it was to get business, it seems to be backfiring.