• Sat, Nov 9 - 3:30 pm ET

JC Penney Burned Lululemon’s Snobby Fat-Shaming, And It’s Brilliant

JC-penney-lululemonLululemon‘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.

Via Racked/Photo: Twitter/JCPenney

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  • Roxanne Marie Zoltan

    I love so many of the things JC Penney chooses to be and do.

  • Katy Hearne

    I personally shop at Penney’s all the time. They are great for basics & little sun dresses, generic work tops, etc.. And I have bought one sports bra at lulu lemon which I still have to wear another bra over (cheap-o one from Target) it if I want to run. So mad love to JC!

  • DreaTheGreat

    Frankly if you are stupid or priviliged enough that you are at a point in your life where you are willing to spend an average of 250 dollars for a pair of pants to STRETCH and SWEAT in, when said pants fail it’s not so out of the ballpark that you will actually believe it was because your legs touch.

    • Anonymous

      Haha $250? lululemon pants are in the $70-$90 range…

    • DreaTheGreat

      A quick glance at their site would let you know that their cheapest pant at the moment is 88$, while the one on the top retails at 140$. Sorry, you’re wrong. 70 would never get you pants at lululemon. Furthermore, a whopping majority of their pants is over the 100$ range. So I change my answer. If you are stupid or privileged enough to spend over 30$ on a pair of yoga pants, you will of course leave a comment anonymously because you are a sore lululemon user. They have lots of “featured and special edition” sale points at places like Pure Yoga where their merchandise exceeded the prices online.

  • Ellen W.

    Also- I love the model they’re using. She looks like any number of women I know- and someday I’ll have that kind of muscle definition!

  • texassa

    I have stretchy, black, cropped, performance fabric pants from Old Navy that I wear to run in the winter. They were $15. They are the best athletic pants I’ve ever owned. They even have a little zipper pouch in the back for my key. And I look hella hot in them too.

    • texassa

      …also sports bras from Target. Winner.