Friday, January 1, 2016

Lululemon 2015 Year In Review

This was such a very odd year for Lululemon. I felt it started out very strong and it just peetered out for Fall with changes to Lulumon social media photo sharing, limited and scarce product releases (product exclusive to China, Australia, US or Canada but not shared) and then total momentum lost with a jarringly sparse holiday product release. It became very clear between Black Friday and Christmas that the typical double uploads where happening on fumes with not enough product to cover two uploads. Some uploads we had old product added to the 'What's New' page, and one upload was cancelled. We've had much more markdowns this year as well (more warehouse sales than usual, great Black Friday and Boxing Day markdowns and end of season sales) which is good when you find product you like on sale, but when items you've payed full price for get continually marked down you get conditioned to hold out for markdown prices in the future. None the less, I have several items I've purchased this year which I very much love. Here are my favourites. 

1. Heathered Bark Berry Scuba Hoodie III
I'm still in love with this scuba hoodie colorway and especially love the rose gold zippers. I wear it tons. 

2. Drop It Like It's Hot Tank
I got this tank in black and menthol and I wear them all the time to Crossfit. I love the design, love the feel of them on and that they are loose around the middle. I'd love to see this style come back. 

3. Slate Pique High Times Pant
I'm on a self imposed pants/leggings ban unless they are to replace my black Inspire Crops which I wear the most to crossfit (my NY Marathon ones). I purchased a few lululemon bottoms for the purpose of being leggings and that is a bit dumb since I primarily wear jeans and don't really feel that comfortable in leggings casually. I did love these Slate Pique High Times though and I wear them the most of all my 'leggings'. 

4. Kanto Catch Me Jacket
This was a surprising purchase for me. I tried it on in white and didn't care for it, or really get the point of a rulu run jacket that isn't water proof or especially warm. I've passed on these RULU run jackets in the past but when I tried it on in black I was sold. It is edgy in black, and cozy. I did end up wearing it a lot in the fall as a too/from to crossfit or layered under my raincoat. 

5. Down For A Run Jacket
I've not liked or loved any of the run specific down jackets and pullovers in the past but something about this Down For A Run Line I just loved. Both the designs and the colors offered. I got the Down For A Run Jacket in Black (I've been gravitating to black jackets a lot lately) and when it got too cold for the Kanto Jacket I moved on to this jacket. 

Down For A Run Pullover

6. Menthol Kanto Catch Me Long Sleeve
Menthol is probably my favourite Lululemon color, if not it's top 3. It is so rare for a RULU pullover to come out in a solid color these days and when I saw this one in Menthol I knew I had to have it. I just love it. Simple, feminine design in a color I love. 

7. Heathered (black) Sapphire Swiftly LS
I don't wear swiftlies much since I find them intimidatingly delicate so I actually only have this one  which was an irresistible color and a Plum Peach one I got in the summer. I've found a purpose for them though which is to wear them to my new Olympic lifting classes. I know a lot of people swear by these for Crossfit but I just find them to delicate and so I save them for Oly lifting days when we are not doing WODS, just drills. 

8. Heathered Fuel Green Scuba Hoodie III
I got this scuba hoodie last week. I don't love it as much as my barberry one but I do love it a lot. I initially poo-pooed the scuba III's when they first came out but I do find them more wearable than the Scuba II's which are much warmer and structured. 

9 Mind &Body Kit
I love the M&B Kit. I got one last year after turning my nose up at it in years prior because of the price. I did a fair bit of traveling this year so I actually got to put my M&B kit to proper use and it was great so I picked up this black and white striped one this year.  If you see it on markdown snatch it up, but if you've been coveting one and are not sure they are worth full price I can tell you they are. 

10. Espresso Definitely Raining Jacket
Living in Raincover I've tried most iterations of the Lululemon Rain Jacket and I've got to say this one is the best to date. This one is water proof vs. resistant (and you can tell the difference), it's softer, and came in many great colors. I especially loved this Espresso one. 



A monthly retrospective of Lululemon designs. 


January  - Blushed Illusion Multi Print 
I really liked this print but for some reason Canada didn't get any items in this. Did the US? I would have loved a Cool Racerback in this or this Run Stuff Your Bra. So odd that Australia got the bulk of this, and the US got some pieces but Canada got none. 


February  - Vintage Pink All Sport Bra and Pace Pusher LS
I love Vintage Pink. I hope we see more pieces this year. 

 On The Daily Hoodie
I love the On The Daily Hoodie. I got a Grapefruit one from the US and I got a Marled Tender Violet one from Canada. Both different textures/fabrics but I love both. I may have gotten more if we'd seen more fun colors in it. 

March - Zippered Cyber Stripe High Times (US only)
Another Australia and US only item. Canada waited and waited for these, where promised they were coming and months and months later when we finally did get them they were a different version without the zipper detail. 

Iridescent Multi
I got this tank, and then never wore it. It's definitely on my regrets pile. 

Miss Misty Jacket
We saw about a billion colorways of this jacket for some reason, and no other run jacket for the longest time. 

April - Biggie Pigment Wave
Man, Biggie Pigment Wave and Pigment Wave Multi where so huge. But there where so many pieces to choose from. I got Inspire Crops in the Multi version but what I really wanted was a Cool Racerback which never came out. 

Heathered Jewelled Magenta
This was a super exciting upload. I got this Define Jacket and LOVE it. 

May - Gator Green
Bleacher Stripe
Another item on my regrets pile is a Bleacher Stripe Cool Racerback. It's must a little bit of a loud print for me. 

Heathered Poseidon
This is another color that I loved. So glad I got this Cool Racerback. 

June - Alarming

Grapefruit Mesh What The Sport Tee
This is another item I got and loved. I had a thing with Orange this year, especially in the spring and summer. I was infatuated with Peach Plum and Grapefruit so I stalked for the Mesh With Me for a long time after seeing it in Australia. Thankfully Canada did get it. 

Iris Flower Sweaty Or Not Jacket
Pretty color. I was tempted by this jacket but didn't get it, even when it went on markdown. I still think it's a pretty jacket when I look at this picture. 

Pretty Plume
I loved this print when I first saw it but I just couldn't decide what I wanted in it. It was too bad that we didn't get a Cool Racerback in this. I got the SE High Times but ended up returning them and I'm glad I did. As much as I like the print I would have never worn it in pants. 

July - Wee Space Silver Spoon SE Wunder Under Crop

Cool To Street Tank

August - Sapphire
Sapphire was an exciting color. So similar to Pigment which I also love, but I think I like Sapphire a bit more. 


September - New Pant Wall + Lulu
This was where I saw Lululemon really start to lose momentum. They marketed a new pant wall, a new fabric and a pricing 'architecture'. Meaning, old items got repriced higher under the honeypot of a new fabric and new designs. This is also when Lululemon implemented a new social media strategy and amalgamated store Facebook pages and eliminated 95% of product image sharing. 

Space Dye Twist

Go The Distance Jacket  - Canada never got this one. 
This was another item I waited for and waited for but Canada never got. Eventually I was able to get one through a US friend but I didn't appreciate having to hunt down an item and pay the exchange. 

October - Down For A Run
Loved the Down For A Run Line. As popular as I think it was, it still got marked down for Boxing Day. 



November - Fleece Out Jacket
November was a pretty boring month. I kept waiting for the exciting holiday product to arrive and it just never really did. 

Hustle In Your Bustle Jacket

Sunshine Coast LS
I did really like the Sunshine Coast LS's though. I got it in Barkberry and Fatigue. 

December - Tender Violet Swiftly SS
I got this Swiftly but ended up returning it as I realized as pretty as the color is, I'm must not inclined to wear a swiftly SS to the gym. 

About That Base LS

Think Fast Pullover (CAN only)
For some reason only Canada got this one. US got the Runderfull 1/2 Zip in Pique Cosmic Teal which I coveted but we got this one. I think I like this design better but I may have preferred it in Cosmic Teal. And a solid Peacock Pique vs. this white based pique with solid contrasting. I have this one on my pile of deciding wether I'm keeping or returning. I'm leaning towards returning it and selling my grey one from last year. 


What where your memorable Lululemon items from this year? Any hits and misses you'd care to share? what where your favourite purchases? 

41 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I miss the store photos from years past. I bought more when I could see people of all different shapes, sizes and colors wearing the different pieces.

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  3. I kind of "came back" to Lulu this year after only buying a handful of things the last 2 years. I'm pretty selective though with what I buy. My favs of the year: Toasty Tech tights - I have two pairs now and love them for cold weather running, Pace Rival Crops - I have three pairs and want more, Kanto Long Sleeve in Herringbone and High Time Pants which were a discovery for me this year.

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  4. I actually had a great holiday season. I LOVE every shade of purple and also love pink, so with black grape, tender Violet, rasberry glo light, jeweled magenta, and a lot of the prints that had purple and pinks in it. I blew my budget!! I agree with the demise of photo sharing, and the poor product photos on the website. It was less then stellar. I did get the iridescent multi and bleacher stripe with the iris flower and LOVE them! I have worn them tons, but I LOVE color, the more bold the better! Iris flower was a HUGE LOVE of mine as well this summer! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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    1. You know, they really did have great colors out this holiday but what was lacking was design depth. They seemed to be missing a lot of the winter run pieces like 1/2 Zips and LS's (they had one style when usually they have 3-4) and not enough warm run pants or running jackets for winter.

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  5. My favourites are the On the Daily hoodie, Scuba III and toasty tech tights. In flux jacket gets an honourable mention.

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  6. Thanks Lulumum for the 2015 - 12 month play by play of what came out in 2015. However, it brought back bad memories of the Miss Misty jacket I had absolutely no interest in and I can't remember a jacket that got so many colorways as this one did and it just wouldn't go away. I am hoping in 2016 we will see a much better selection of lightweight running jackets with pretty details from years past.

    My favourites for 2016 would have to be the Fleecy Keen Jacket - fuel green, Face The Frost Pullover - Black Grape, On The Double Pullover- Bark Berry, another Think Fast Pullover- Heathered Black Herringbone, Restless Pullover in Ultra Violet and much to my surprise, That's A Wrap - Bordeaux, which was my final purchase in 2015. One of my favourite colours as well for 2015 was vintage pink and I hope we see this back in more product for 2016. I passed on the Vintage Pink Yeah Yoga Tank and am still kicking myself for not buying it. I would give honourable mentions to Blue Fresco, Blue Denim in the DSP line and Tender Ultra Violet heathered with black. I loved all the swiftlies that were heathered with black.

    As for 2016 I would love to see the return of the DANCE STUDIO CROP, please Lululemon bring this iconic crop back into our wardrobes in some new and exciting colours.

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  7. My faves this year were definitely the stress less hoodies (have in 3 colors!!) and a few colors of the scuba IIIs.

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  8. Sadly 2015 was a bust for me. I tried multiple pieces each upload and then always sent them back discouraged. I think I ended up with 5 items the entire year. The one bright light for me was being able to register for Seawheeze 2016! I never got in for 2015 but did it in 2014, so this was awesome and this is what made my Lulu year. I am going into my 11th year with this company, I can only hope they turn the corner and put out some great product in 2016, I'm not willing to give up yet.

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  9. I have those Brushed Illusion Inspires and those are definitely a fave from this year!

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    1. I kept waiting for them to bring out more product in this print. I got it in what the sport shorts love it!

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  10. 2015 wasn't as big of a purchase year for me. The previous year I was in store weekly checking out new items. This year it slowed to once a month, maybe less. I did purchase a few things mentioned on your list: the jeweled magenta define, sunshine coast ls, down for a run pullover in black grape (which I had wanted in previous years but never got), silver spoon WU crops and biggie pigment wave inspire crops. Also enjoyed the base runner wee stripe pant, stress less hoodie (missed it in peach plum), and pace rival wee stripe. I wished they would have brought out more product in some colors like bark berry and peach plum. Overall though, my purchases at LLL were down from the previous year.

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  11. Looking back on the year I passed on so many things. I loved so many of the cool racerback colors but couldn't get over the scratchy polyester. My favorite purchases were from the wanderlust upload, and things I bought at seawheeze. Mainly my run stuff your bra, which quickly became my most favorite sports bra that was never offered in the US for the year. Man it pained me to see these sell on mark down in the UK and Australia when I'd have been thrilled to buy them at full price. I think in all lululemon lost me this year. I missed a lot of the staples they decided not to offer (vinyasa scarves, inspire crops) I also didn't like their price increases, declining quality, horrible customer service, and unhelpful website photos. The attitude that they don't know when uploads will be because even they have no idea what's going on at their own website rubbed me the wrong way. To keep us on our toes? In a lot of ways they lost the plot this year.

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    1. Well said. I agree with you completely. While I made many purchases this year, there really isn't anything that really grabbed me this year. Everything I bought was an old basic or staple that I needed to replace. Almost none of the new prints I liked, everything seemed so cheap looking to me. I got the feeling they were trying to compete with Athleta too much with the wild prints when all they really needed to do was go back to adding COLOR! Shock! Horror!
      The fact that they are only now adding color to the herringbone is absurd, they are late to the table with everything and it's constant. Are we finally done with camo??
      My frustration mostly is with the decline in quality AGAIN. Look at the website and you'll see tons of bad reviews with pilling issues, rolling waistbands, unraveling seams, etc, etc. They will not address the quality problems and yet they keep raising prices. The final straw for me is the lame uploads this Winter and an appalling lack of merchandise to choose from. I'm holding on to my old Lulu staples and taking good care of them and branching out to other brands when before I wouldn't.

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    2. The quality certainly has been an issue this year. I was very upset to see two days ago that my Base Runner Pants that I got this year are pilling across the front of the thigh (low friction area that I never get pilling in) and the seams of the pocket are wearing out.

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  13. LLM, did that Heathered fuel green scuba ever make its way to the US? I've been waiting on that color in the scuba and toasty tech...

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  14. 3crazykids - No, the Fuel Green scuba was never uploaded to the US... another reason LLL lost me this year! I used to make purchases online ever week and go to the store on a weekly basis. Now, I just go to the store to make returns. I can't remember the last item I purchased that I actually kept! :(

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    1. Thanks for the comment, that's what I thought. I know my store used to call me with new product because I was in so often and now I go in to return like you and all the new employees try to school me with incorrect information lol.

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  15. The upload discrepancies between countries was super frustrating for sure! The Fuel Green Scuba was one of my favourites this year as well, and I'm jealous you also got the Bark Berry! One huge positive is that so many items made it to WMTM that would've never been marked down in past years. Considering the decline in quality especially in Rulu, I think $70 is way more appropriate than $98.

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    1. Yah I think the upload discrepancies has been my biggest frustration, or a tie with the stores no longer posting photos.

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  16. Thanks for running such a great and extensive blog. I love that you include all items from each upload, this helps me really see what was new. You put so much time into this and I know so many readers (including myself) enjoy it! Keep it up in 2016 :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog :) Have a great 2016!

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  17. Can you tell me more about the Drop it like it's hot tank? I really wanted to get it, but I was worried that it would start to smell because it doesn't have silverscent. Are you able to use it for multiple workouts before it smells? I love the menthol color!

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    1. Sure! I actually wash it after each wear and hang it to dry so its ready for the next morning. I don't actually find silverscent smelling less than my luon or luxtreme items but I always wash immediately after a workout or at the least I have a rotation of three outfits and once all three are dirty I wash together so I'm not wearing an item more than once before washing. Thats probably odd but years ago I had a mildew issue with my towels and had to throw most of them away and strip the others and really change up my laundering style so I'm very very careful not to allow mildew to creep in on damp sweaty clothing in a laundry basket.

      Besides that, I really love the tank. I saw that Metrotown had the Black Cherry ones the other day so I think I'm going to pick one of those up next week.

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    2. Thanks for letting me know! I am going to ask my local store if they have it, looks like the Menthol color sold out on the US side online. It's too bad this one didn't go on sale for Boxing Day.

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  18. I love that tank too! It shows off pretty bras but gives me room on my bloated days so I don't have to worry about sucking in my stomach. I got the black one but have been watching for the rest to go on markdown. They were on the UK site on Boxing Day markdown so hopefully they go on here too...

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  19. I had a few faves this year, but most of my purchases were older items bought on FB boards or Ebay.

    My faves:
    Embossed animal swirl inspire tights and speed shorts
    Party Om bag
    Amazing colors: Regal Plum, Jeweled Magenta, Bali Breeze, Sapphire Blue, Tender Violet...
    Herringbone hi-rise WUP
    Pace Rival crops. As an inspire crop girl (15ish pairs of them!), these are pretty darn good
    Pretty Plume print. I have the WUC in those and love them

    There were a lot of things I didn't like, but I pretty much stick to the basics (CRBs, swiftlies, inspire/pace rival crops, WUC/WUP) so the other items don't impact me too much.

    For 2016, I'd like to see more solid colored CRBs, and I may spring for an in flux jacket- so flattering and pretty :)

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  20. My favorites this year: grapefruit, black/white gingham and stripes and tranquil blue "collection" Seawheeze everything - green bugs, pink and orange, blue and orange. I use the collection term loosely because colors have been all over the place and so random - sometimes we only get one item in a color (think dragonfly) and then others get all bunched. Right now on the U.S. side there are 9 color choices for power y, 22 for CRB and 27 swiftly tanks. So many solid color missed opportunities (again i'd love a power y in dragonfly, kayak, tender violet)

    Dark colors for so much of the summer (I would have loved raspberry glo in July) Until seawheeze where I admit I bought 5 pieces at inflated prices off ebay because they were the cutest colors and patterns i'd seen in ages from LLL. Also, bunching colors...at any given time there seemed to be 3 or more shades of menthol green or grapefruit (right now I can buy a swiftly tank in grapefruit, bleached coral, pink lemonade, neon rose and flare).

    Overall items either show up on WMTM a few weeks later (hustle in the bustle raspberry jacquard) or six months plus. I picked up on Boxing day the biggie fly butterfly wup from August in my local store. Online I could have gotten the sugar crush energy bra which was uploaded March 3rd! It went on sale 9.5 months later online (if you want one they still have them in 2 and 4). My favorite swiftly heathered tranquil blue (a dyed striped) which was uploaded July 14th is still being sold at full price on line. What gives?

    It says a lot that very few items sell out immediately even if they are popular - seems like they went too far away from the scarcity model. As a result I rarely buy anything the week it is uploaded because these days I have weeks or months to make a decision.

    I also agree with price jumps in pants/crops, different stuff for US and Canada (I so wanted the ghost dot with sapphire trim speed shorts that went on sale there); Australia, Hong Kong and UK getting cool stuff we never ever see; quality issues.

    Thanks for hosting such a great blog and all your work

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  21. First, I would like to say that your blog is very informative and I often look at your reviews before I make purchases. I do not live near a Lululemon so I have to buy online. I think your blog was the best thing about Lululemon this year. It was honest.
    As far as product goes, I loved my cyber stripe high times, pretty plum high times, black cherry high times, sapphire define, green with black short sleeve swiftly, peacock think fast hoodie, urban warrior duffle and a few of my plain crbs (black cherry, navy, posiden, raspberry, regal plum).
    I was extremely disappointed that many of the items I wanted were only in the UK or Australia. I had to send back yoga pants that were too thin and sheer. I hated the new photos that did not really show the product, just the models. Most of all I wish there had been more luon plain crbs. I will still purchase from Lululemon but I will be more selective this year since the quality is not there.

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  22. Awesome recap! And seriously Lulumum, you keep hinting at letting the peacock think fast go, I would LOVE to take it off of your hands!!!!

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    1. If I do I'll definitely let you know. You get first dibs.

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  23. Great recap! I love reading what others' favorite buys were. We're supposed to have a rainy winter so I need to check out the Definitely Raining jacket asap.

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  24. OT: Hustle in Your Bustle Jacket now $89 on wmtm Canada in both tender violet and Heathered herringbone.

    Why are they bothering to release things at inflated prices and then dropping them a couple days or weeks later? It's just another irritating aspect of new LLL management

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    1. Agree! What goes to WMTM and when makes no sense. I was in store yesterday and saw someone in line with this jacket. Another shopper told her she could get it online cheaper and she returned it. Meanwhile lots of items just seem to linger and linger online at full price...way past their sell by date.

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  25. I went to Sherway Gardens, Ontario store and there was a a jacket called Chilli Bomber or something. Very cute but at $228 is not worth. I might get it on markdown.

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  26. I love this blog and what it finds out in the land of Lululemon... in a reverse way being in Australia and seeing products that never get her in the reverse way, why does lululemon not have a core world release range that everyone gets and have the seasonal different range regional, like winter range in the US while australia is in summer with swim stuff... it's not rocket science...

    And in the reverse we have never seen the Daily Practice Jacket in Australia which should be a world wide release for everyone, I would kill for a size 12 black jacket... it's longer, mid weight... and in australia tall options are all but non existent.

    The social media strategy was an amazing fail, it's like they lost trust in the staff running the updates in the stores, here in melbourne australia we have two outlet stores where you got a sense what was going on in the store, now that everything has been cut off, I would have no idea, are we not a community of lulu fans who actively track and follow the releases via the different stores images, creates a buzz, it's made this blog my main source of news, I have no idea whats going on as in events, and don't feel I should be forced to pop in to the store to find out whats going on every week...

    Which brings me to a huge bug bear... the difference between the website and the physical stores, the lack of knowledge but store staff, and the fact we can search or see online whats in a store locally, no sense of digital tracking of items or sizes in store... even staff in store can't see what in another store near by here, they always want you to ring the store... we have to do the work, not the store staff... stupid Lululemon...

    But in the end maybe the annual report and figures $$$ will tell the story of their management, design, supply stuff ups I hope... give them a dose of reality, look back at their core...

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