As if a story about women's butts couldn't get any more tantalizing, Lululemon CEO Christine Day more or less just asked the owners of the struggling workout-wear company's defective yoga pants to bend over in skin-tight, possibly see-through leggings and have someone inspect their butts. "Just putting the pants on themselves doesn't solve the problem," Day said on Thursday's earnings call. "The truth of the matter is the only way you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over." That helps explain how piles of unacceptable inventory made their way into 17 percent of the once-giant retailer's stock in the first place. Traditional factory inspections likely don't include a human bend-over test and therefore wouldn't have detected the issue. Perhaps as a part of its new quality control measures, which Lululemon has decided to implement in light of the scandal, Lululemon will hire some professional bender-overs and butt inspectors to go with them.
Though Lululemon has pulled a bunch of the defective pants, expect this week's widespread panic to lead lots of women to ask the obvious question to friends in the yoga studio: Can you see my butt? Lululemon has also put store employees on "high alert," Day said in the earnings call — should any potential buyers need an extra set of eyes, apparently, or should there be some skin-tight, possibly see-through leggings in a Lululemon store. "It passed all of the basic metric tests and the hand-feel is relatively the same," Day explained, according to Bloomberg, "so it was very difficult for the factories to isolate the issue, and it wasn't until we got in the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue."
Day's explanation of how the problematic product made it into stores arrived as revenues were expected to be thinner, too: The Canadian athletic apparel company confirmed on the earnings call that it plans on losing around $20 million next quarter because of the Too-Tight Yoga Pants Scandal of 2013. The high-end gym clothes retailer has also hired new quality control executives and is adding suppliers, Day said. Until then, however, it needs to prove its pants are worth $98 — and apparently it needs you to bend over to prove it. Women who bought the too-shear stretch-pants after March 1 get a full refund.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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