Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The New Printed Luon, Speculation On Quality Improvements and Product Allocation.

I felt like I needed to write a specific post about this wonderful new printed luon that Lululemon is using. The quality is amazing and I actually don't remember the last time I saw a printed luon that was not polyester, sheer and shiny looking. Seriously, back in 2010 (during the 'good quality' period) when the Unicorn Tears and Black Roses Print print came out, they were polyestery, thin, sheer and shiny which is why printed Wunder Unders had never even been a consideration for me. From 2010 to 2013, Luluelmon (or its manufactures) really seemed to rely on polyester blended fabrics and very lightley woven luon which I believe was the main contributing factor to the sheer pants issue.  I'm excited that Lululemon has come up with a knew denser knit for their luon bottoms. I believe these four prints shown below are all this denim texture which is 70% Nylon, 18% Polyester and also in a very dense higher gauge weave. I also really loved the material used on the WAFS Fatigue and Vintage Pink, as well as the Parallel Wunder Unders which is not denim but is 87% Nylon 13% Lycra Spandex and completely opaque. Did any of you check out the new Bali Breeze Cool Racerback? Its THICK and SOFT! They are hitting it out of the ballpark with the luon these days.

One of the problems they are having these days is inventory allocation and popular items being limited to one market, ie. Canada online, Canada stores, US online, US stores instead of being evenly distributed between all locations - many times products being online only. This, as well as the popularity of the products, is creating a sort of frenzy and frustration with the customer base which is scurrying to find product via angels or ebay.  I believe the reason for this strange allocation is because Lululemon is in the process of transitioning to new manufacturers (whoever is creating this new great luon), and I think it is a short term problem and not part of an artificial scarcity strategy they will be keeping around. Product allocation is a problem which I hope stabilizes soon, but I can no longer say that they are having the same quality issues that reached its pinnacle this time last year. I think they have changed their luon recipe for the better, integrated new manufactures, and also put people in place for stringent quality checks at the source and I'm really excited to see what's to come. Just last night I was thinking how January - March is typically a low interest time for me with Lululemon designs, but I've been very interested in the colors and designs that have been coming out this month.

What are your thoughts on the new luon? Have you noticed the improvement? Are you more excited about the product lineup now then you are normally during February? 

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