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Lululemon tries to juice up its product line

Annie Baxter Dec 10, 2014
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Lululemon tries to juice up its product line

Annie Baxter Dec 10, 2014
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Lululemon Athletica, the retailer known for its line of comfy but pricey yoga and athletic apparel, is still working to regain its balance after some major PR stumbles over the past couple years. Its forthcoming earnings report, out Thursday, will give a snapshot of its current performance.

Lululemon’s reputation, sales and stock price suffered when it had to recall some yoga pants in 2013 for their unfortunate see-through quality. The company’s founder made matters worse when he suggested some women’s bodies weren’t right for the pants.

Now the company’s trying to bounce back by updating its product line with snazzy floral prints and even sequined pants. But sequins alone may not make Lululemon sparkle again.

“They’re going to take a lot more fashion risk. Whenever you have that much more variety you have more markdowns, misses,” says John Horan, publisher of Sporting Goods Intelligence.

The fancier stuff costs more to produce, according to Sam Poser, an equity analyst with Sterne Agee. And he doubts it will bring new customers in the door.

“They can fix the product but they can’t fix the mojo,” Poser says.

Poser says Lululemon needs to focus on its other former strong suit: great customer service.

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