Lululemon‘s recent image problems are excellent news for other athletic brands, and JC Penney wants everyone to know that if Lululemon doesn’t want you in its pants, JC Penney is ready to hook you up.
“When it comes to yoga pants, we fit any shape and size,” JC Penney tweeted at right about the time Lululemon was making headlines for blaming the failure of its yoga pants on the size of its customers’ thighs.
We can’t help but snicker at the dig. There’s no burn like a corporate burn to make you feel all tingly inside.
Firing off a snarky shot at Lululemon is a pretty entertaining and clever move for JC Penney. Lululemon has a huge hold on the activewear market, but it’s been having a lot of issues with quality control and alienating customers. Earlier this year Lululemon had to recall 17 percent of their yoga pants because the fabric became sheer when stretched—most stretchy fabrics become sheer at some point, but quality exercise clothes are expected to be able to stretch a lot before that happens.
Now the quality of Lululemon’s expensive yoga pants has been called into question again because the clothes have been pilling unexpectedly. That’s another thing quality exercise clothes are supposed to be able to resist, but Lululemon’s CEO Chip Wilson decided the issue wasn’t that his product was shoddy, it was that fatties were sneaking in and buying them.
“Frankly some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for it. They don’t work for some women’s bodies…it’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.”
Personally, I want my exercise pants to be able to deal with exercise. When I exercise a lot, I want them to be able to deal with a lot of exercise. My other yoga pants have been able to put up with that. Hell, my H&M capri sweatpants have been able to deal with everything I’ve thrown at them, from plyometrics to couch wine, and they were $10. Lululemon’s CEO is just being a jerk to cover up for the fact that people haven’t been happy with the performance of his product.
But he can say what he wants. The yoga pant market is huge, and there are other companies waiting to dive in and eat up all the customers Lululemon alienates. JC Penney is just the first in line.