Friday, February 18, 2011

Lululemon Rumors - Change in Return Policy Coming?

This is from a post on the new Lulu This Just In Facebook Page:

I was in one of my local stores this morning... and learned that, it is not official yet, but Lulu is working on not allowing items bought online to be returned at the stores in the future. This way, the stores' sales are not affected by returns made from online purchases. ...She also said, Lululemon is not about trendy fashion but technical workout clothing, and they want to maintain that image or else Lulu may be in trouble in the long run.

Not getting the logic in this decision at all.  Most of the time when I return I get something else. Also, when I buy on line, it's usually a quick selling "hot" item - Rubber Ducky Push UR Limits, No Limits Tank, Pique In Stride Jacket, or something that never made it to the store like a Sheer Delight Tunic. So, I don't think my returns hang around the store that long. Other people brought up the fact that the Lulu stores are corporate owned so what does it matter where the returns are done? I can't believe they don't have a separate bookkeeping line item for things bought on line that were returned at a store. Premium brands are supposed to be about customer service. Can anyone name an on-line retailer with brick and mortar stores that doesn't let you return to a local store?

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Victorias secret won't accept online returns in store

LuluAddict said...

Interesting about VS. However, VS stores are pretty much just underwear and PJs where the on-line has tons more stuff. That isn't the case with Lululemon where the stores and on-line overlap to a great deal (except the showrooms but they are special cases).

ojodeazul said...

I would literally stop buying from anywhere other than my bar method studio I'd this occurred.

LisaLuvs/HatesLulu said...

The only place I know about is Victoria Secret. I will NEVER buy online from them again for that reason!!

Lululemon is SO STUPID for making this change.. why does it seem like the WANT to piss people off?

houndlvr67 said...

It has more to do with their "goal structure" (commission structure to us, mere mortals) and the way that their educators/key leaders/managers are paid/rewarded for meeting/exceeding goals.
It is cheaper not to accept returns from online than to implement a "complicated" accounting system (they just need to hire a "real" IT shop, says my IT guru hubby who does back office work for trading companies in about 6 different currencies-I guess he should know...).

Ever notice how the educators are somewhat crabby/reluctant to take in a big online return? I had one guy tell me that I couldn't do it, one tell me to take it to another store-they obviously didn't know who they were dealing with ;-)...

Anonymous said...

Lulu should'nt be doing this, but as for me, I usually send my items back through the mail since my nearest lulu store is 25 minutes away. Too far for a return trip imo.
It costs me about $4 to send back 4 items through the mail which is more economical for me.
Regarding Victoria's Secret, they have already implemented online to store returns at a few select stores. what they do is they accept the return and send it back for you free of charge. hope that helps! =)

LuluAddict said...

@ houndlvr67 - that is what I thought, too. They are pushing the problem to the consumer instead of overhauling their ordering and inventory control so they can pull/manipulate inventory from stores to meet on-line orders. I think that is what Lucy does. I've ordered items from the Lucy website that had an orange sale sticker on it so I believe they got the item from a store.

@ ojodeazul - them changing their return policy would greatly cut into my ordering from them unless I had tried an item on in the store and needed a different size or they include a free return like Zobha does.

Anonymous said...

I want to comment on the Lululemon Educator below who spoke of the reason for the "No Photos" rule in the store. She said it's for "Legal rights and people trying to imitate Lulu products". Can't these imitators just look at one of several Lululemon facebook pages for pictures of product or maybe the Lululemon website or perhaps buy Lulu product and look at it at home? ;-) That reasoning doesn't make sense. Cute, though.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 8:49 - That's probably what she was told by her management. I think Lulu just wants to be in control of releasing photos of their items. I got a Sunday phone call to my house (she obviously looked it up from my buyer info) from some Lulu corporate person the time I poked around the website and posted all those "hidden" items a year or so ago.

What is very weird to me is that I will go into a store and saw I saw a photo of such and such upcoming item on the Facebook site of a Canadia store and the educators have no idea what I am talking about. Are they forbidden to look at other stores' Facebook sites or just pretending they don't know whats coming? Or, what I think may be really the case, they are probably so sick of Lululemon they could care less.

Rinne said...

Returns effect sales goals, by working in retail I know this all too well. Many a day we started out in the minuses because of huge returns. However, I don't see how returning an online item to a B&M store is effecting sales any differently than buying from one store and returning at another location.

@Anon 8:49 No store I've worked at has ever allowed customers to take photos/video in store for this exact reason. So it is a valid reason, I can assure you ;) Some people (mostly in high end apparel/bag stores) will come in and take pictures, forwarding it to someone to get them to create knock offs. Hence the huge amount of Louis Vuitton and Coach fakes floating around- I'll bet you the people making them didn't buy a real one to make the knock offs! Just took lots of pics... and the fit/function pictures up on FB probably wouldn't show enough detail to make a viable knock off anyway

Anonymous said...

Rinne - I see what you're saying about high end designer bags.. but you can buy a cool racerback for $39!! That's just silly.

AZ Lulu Fan said...

Wow, is Lululemon corporate so insulated from the real world that they don't realize what a huge customer service faux pas this is? I appreciate that my local Lulu store has always been gracious about accepting online returns and I always end up buying more than I return. It's not like I'm making frivolous returns, it's usually a fit, feel, or color problem and their offerings are too expensive to justify keeping something that I don't love.

Please don't go down this path Lulu, you'll alienate your customers who are accustomed to top notch service and who can afford to shop elsewhere. Nike & Lucy - Mama may be coming back home.

Anonymous said...

This would not be a positive route for Lulu to go down. They do need to set a limit to how much people can buy online to eliminate the Ebay sharks who buy out all the new items and then turn around and sell them for twice as much (sometimes more on ebay).

Then people like myself won't have to buy items just because they worry that items will get sold out within minutes due to the Ebay sharks.

I love being able to go into my local lulu and return an item that i bought online only to buy other things. It is wonderful as a guest to have that flexibility. The educators are always so nice and accommodating and I would hate for this amazing part of their customer service go away. They are always so excited to see something that they didn't get that I was able to get online. I once got a an online return of the USA Cheer Scuba! I had missed out on buying one so I was very happy to find this at my local store several weeks later.

Megan said...

Amen LLA: They are pushing the problem to the consumer instead of overhauling their ordering and inventory control so they can pull/manipulate inventory from stores to meet on-line orders.

Anonymous said...

Also, I don't understand why if they get a lot of hype on an item, it sells out quickly (by the 11am watchers) people post about how the stock must be doing. Meanwhile, the item is on ebay for 2x as much. I don't think Wall Street cares that people want the stuff, they care about total # of sales and Lulu can't deal with the inventory to make those sales. Maybe this works with ultra high end - like a $10k Birkin bag, but I am pretty sure investors would rather see me take my $200 and buy two Lulu items in store/online than $200 and buy one Lulu item on ebay.

Anonymous said...

The commission/sales structure hurts the business. Rather than help a customer find the right size/color/item in another store, if the "Educator" ends up finagling the buyer to purchase something not quite right, after a couple of wears, they'll be dissatisfied and possibly never be a repeat customer.

Anonymous said...

Barney's New York online does not allow you to return in store. So I shop elsewhere, and not BNY.

As for Lulu, it will be quite disappointing if they implemented this new policy. My Lulu shopping habit will change if that is the case. I don't like dealing with labels and being at the post office.

Anonymous said...

American Apparel's policy is strict, but a bit different in that anything you buy in-store cannot be returned. Ever. You might be able to exchange it, but I'm not sure. BUT, if you buy online, you can only return online (not in store).

Anyway, my point is that I will never shop at American Apparel again, for this reason alone. When I purchased something in-store once, no one told me this policy, and when I went to return it, they pointed to a TINY sign that I would have never seen when checking out.

If Lulu chooses this route, they better make sure their educators are informing EVERY.SINGLE.CUSTOMER about the policy, or educators will be in major pain from pissed off customers who didn't know about the policy...although ebay sales could become more reasonable!

Anonymous said...

Their 16 day return policy for the stores is strict enough, now we have to worry about getting back the parcel in x number of days? I will not order again from them.

Take the pics in the dressing room they cannot control that.

Anonymous said...

If lululemon is so worried about their profits, they should limit the amount of purchases their "educators" make. Or restrict them from buying an item the first week it is out. I've had educators tell me they "all bought this item" the minute it came in. Or some of them stash 1 or 2 away downstairs until they can purchase it. When an item goes onsale, they get it @ %75 off the original price. That's another reason there are no size 6s @ my local store on the first day an item is out. The educators buy them right up.

Susan said...

I'm sorry but ebayers are not stealing all the inventory. There are a total of 4 pace setter Long sleeve tops on ebay right now. Those sold out because everybyody wanted one. Yes - it is annoying when an item is listed so high.... And i don't have a problem if Lululemon places limits, but that is not the problem here. Lululemon doesn't want returns from all their customers that buy multiple sizes and colors to make sure they get what they want and then return the rest. Every time someone complains about "evilbayers", I look at the numbers and there isn't enough to make a serious dent in the inventory. I'm not saying that it isn't a problem, but it's not THE problem.

Susan said...

Also, for all you stockholders out their.... the day there isn't an interest in selling Lululemon on ebay for a profit is the day you can kiss your investment goodbye.... LOL!

And, I think we need to face the facts... Lululemon plays with their inventory to keep their items hot. They run an item once and move on. Yes, they have core items.... but the hot items are just that. Hot and gone. But, you can wear your Solace Jacket without running into 10 other people with the same jacket.

Anonymous said...

If they change their return policy I'll be extremely ticked off. It is soooooooooooo consumer UNfriendly. As it is, the two weeks, hangtags all on, receipt in hand is more restrictive than any other retailer I shop at. I buy a lot. A LOT of lulu both in store and online. I return a lot of online purchases in store but I almost always purchase something when I return in store and over the course of the year, even with my returns, my local lulu makes a lot of money on my purchasing. They are always, by the way, very gracious about taking the returns. In addition, when I return I generally take my return on a gift card - so they are taking the hit on the return that day but ultimately I'm still allocating spending that money with them tomorrow so they'll gain it back (and probably then some) on that day. If they make this change, my online shopping will drop dramatically.

RunMama said...

I will be very disappointed in lulu if they implement this policy. Their reasoning that they give for the short 14 day return period is because their stock is very current and changes. So, if customers are returning their online products to stores within this time period, there should not be a problem of the store's ability to re-sell the product. Perhaps this doesn't help the store's bottom line, but in the case of a store that sells both online and B&M (like the Gap, LL Bean), that's just how it is. Also, I think lulu is one of the few online sales company I've dealt with that doesn't include return labels, where your item can be easily dropped in the mail and you are charged either a set amount or nothing at all. Mailing items back in Canada is just really expensive, so I see my online buying severely reduced with this new policy. I don't see how a no store returns policy will help lulu get to their desired total revenues coming 10% from e-commerce.

Neph said...

No problem. But then Lululemon should pay for return shipping like Zappos and Endless does.

Anonymous said...

American Eagle also does not accept returns of online orders. My boyfriend bought me a sweater online from Canadian side; went from Ontario to US and back into Ontario and he had to pay duty. Sweater was not a keeper and he had to go through major hassles to get them to cover shipping costs back.
Will never shop there again.
If Lulu takes this route I'm sure they will also loose many casual/one time shoppers as a result.

Susan said...

i just don't understand it. There is a cost associated with doing business. End of story.... Lululemon seems very money hungry - and it is a big turn off. :(

Keep your quality up and your customers happy, the rest will follow.

Now, if they want to save a ton of money... allow items to stay in the cart for an hour. I'm really tired of getting 3 or 4 packages on my doorstep every week because I'm too afraid to put my whole order together. Cart - Checkout, cart - checkout, cart - checkout. I wouldn't have half the pieces I have if I had tried to put my whole order together and buy at once.

Anonymous said...

I buy a lot online from Lulu some times in two sizes to see what size fits better. I do find that store educators not always happy when you returning online items.
I shop on adidas on line store as well and love their 30-day return policy and free on line returns. I love their Stella McCartney line it has trendy work out wear. So if Lulu decides to have the same policy as Shopadidas I will be very happy and if not I will be spending my money more on adidas.

Anonymous said...

The customer should always come first...bottom line. There is a reason Costco & others are so successful. Yes, I will be very disappointed if lulu implements this policy. If they do, they should include a free return label. The free shipping has been great & that should stick around. Lulu marks their products up by a substantial amount, so free shipping to & from should be standard.
Additionally, if they really want to "fix" some problem areas, let them start with 1. lowering the employee discounts from the ridiculous 60% & 75% on sale items to a more reasonable percentage, 2. not allowing their employees to get first dips on all the product at such a deep discount & not allowing the customers to buy at the regular price, 3. limit online purchases to 2 of each individual item so eBayers don't buy out all the stock. Lulu you MUST keep your customers first priority & I agree, the 2 week return policy is already tough enough....don't make people very angry by focusing on the wrong issues & turning your customers away.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you guys are saying. Colorado stores currently do not accept online retruns due to "system incompatibility" (I think they are franchises?) so there IS a precendent for this. You can exchange or get a gift card but not get your money back.
Should we post our thoughts on the lululemon facebook site so corporate can see?

Anonymous said...

What doesn't make sense is this: You have to return an online item within 14 days because they are "always pushing new items." Well, if we can't return something in our local store, and we have to send it back, then lululemon is stuck with an item that was put out online 2 weeks ago (I order something on upload Thursday, it takes a week to get to me, I try it on and I don't like it, I send it right back and it takes a week for them to get it back). So then they have an old item right? Uggg. I only have a showroom and a strategic sales partner near me. They have the basics but never in the right sizes and they never have the new items that come out that are specialty things. This is the stupidest policy ever. First, no more phone sales, now a possible change to the return policy? Are you purposely wanting me to take my $$$ elsewhere??

Anonymous said...

I live near a showroom that has a very limited selection. For a while, I would buy a few items online, sometimes in different sizes to see which one fit best. I became known as the "woman who buys online and then returns." In late Fall, I made a major return (around $700).

The educator WAS NOT happy with me. I felt very, very bad about it. The look on her face was horrid and she did not make me feel good at all. After that, I have only purchased maybe 1-3 things online in a size that I knew fit me. I have not returned to the showroom in months.

I assume my return hurt their sales but what was I supposed to do?

Cate said...

This is extremely disappointing. First the GEC stops phone sales, and now this... This change does not really affect me since I do not even have a store in my province, but the phone sales affected me big time. If there was an item I really wanted I would call the GEC, because it always takes them so long to get some items up on the site. However, that being said, the customer service at the GEC has changed big time from a year ago! When I called about items that were older, or older colors the educator would look into different warehouses for me etc. Last going off, I didn't feel like the educator even wanted to be on the phone, they wouldn't even check, and just say "that item is not available anymore, or hasn't been for months" without even checking...

Anonymous said...

I don't live near a store, but at the same time, when I know I'm going to be near a store, I do make a few online purchase because I can take advantage of returning at the store and saving shipping cost!! It costs me $12-15 just to return a CRB!
I am also disappointed in the no phone sales. I work days and by the time I get home, the things I want are usually sold out! I always had that hope that phone sales would have it. Well, I will certainly be saving some money now. I saved $250 this week alone No phone sales, no store returns....I won't be buying nearly as much now! Customer service is certainly going downhill...

Lulupetite said...

And as for the notion that Lululemon isn't about fashion -- hello?! When why put ruffles and pleats and gathers and scrunchy details on the clothing? Why "out there" patterns like black roses and Ikat? Why release new things every week and update color palettes continuously? Why have models doing bizarre 'avant garde' poses in your marketing materials? That GEC is delusional, I'm sorry. What distinguishes Lululemon is fit, fashion, and exclusivity. That is its current reputation. If they want to be known for technical athletic wear they've got some serious marketing (and design) work ahead of them. Look, I love Lulu clothes. But I am the first to admit that there are a plethora of better performing fitness wear out there. They're just not as flattering or pretty or fun.

Anonymous said...

y'all are jumping to huge conclusions about something that isn't even fact-just a weird rumour that someone kinda, sorta heard (probably by a disgruntled educator that was venting what she wished would happen, and not passing on any kind of real info).
I feel like I'm watching FOX news.

Anonymous said...

Wow. If this is true, I will stop ordering online and perhaps seriously reconsider buying from lululemon at all. I do most of my purchasing online because it is convenient, fast and I don't always have the time to visit the store. And if it is a 'hot' item - I know i have to buy it fairly quickly or I will miss out and I refuse to purchase it on ebay for at an exorbitant price. I usually keep my items but like the freedom of knowing I can return to the store and almost always -- I purchase something else.

I am already annoyed by their lack of inventory, strict 14 day policy, that I have to beg for the cup inserts with every tank I purchase (when it should come automatically with a $60 top), and the fact that I usually know more about their products than the 'educators'.

I've noticed other women wearing other brands in my yoga class, and I may have to branch out. That will be the 'loudest' for Lululemon when they start losing sales and maybe they will finally listen to their customers.

Anonymous said...

It's shocking to me that some people's reaction to all this is to penalize the educators by reducing their benefits (discounts and ability to buy new items). It's my understanding that these folks aren't getting rich working at Lululemon. For those who are complaining about prices and availability of items, it looks to me like you can apply for a job online so you can get first pick of items at a deep discount! I looked up what educators make...seems like about $10 an hour. At that rate, at retail pricing, you'd only have to work 10 hours to buy a pair of pants.
Yeah, brilliant idea, let's take those benefits away from the educators. They will be so happy to help us next time we are in the store.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the comments here are about lack of inventory and being upset about the assumed change in returns policy but no one has put 2 and 2 together. There may be an issue with inventory and returns due to most people ordering two sizes of everything then taking it to the store and returning it. $700 in returns? No judgement, you are not alone. I've returned several hundred dollars worth of stuff at a time.
Just sayin', we are the problem cuz we are "addicted".

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Lulu is making huge profits they cannot keep up with the demand, so why change the policy, eliminate phone sales and alienate your customers? They are getting too popular and too full of themselves. Really how many Defines and In Strides does a person need?

Anonymous said...

Don't you think that returning items to online store will help the inventory problem????!?! I'm not against it at all, that's great... however free return shipping for sure.

Anonymous said...

Lululemon is limiting what stores are getting certain products so buying on-line maybe the only way to go if you want a hot item, and you will only have x amount of time to return it.

Anonymous said...

I've bought a bunch of stuff online (and in multiple sizes) because my closest store is 30 minutes away. I used to work in retail, so I know how returns purchased from other stores affect the store getting the return- their sale numbers go down.

I've gone to the Irvine store to do my returns, and I've told the educators how bad I feel for making such a large return because I don't want it to ruin their sales goals. The response I've gotten was "oh, it doesn't affect our sales". They simply make sure to enter/click that it was an online purchase, and it goes through that. Plus, every time I return something, it's usually something that the store didn't get in, and the educators end up "oohing and awing" it, and call dibs on it, then stash it away so they can buy it themselves. That's probably where they're losing their money.. I return it and instead of selling it back to another customer for full price, the educators buy it for 25% of the price.

Travelbug said...

This is frustrating to say the least but if they offered free return shipping then i don't think it should be too much of an issue
There really needs to be some kind of added benefit for the customer, they are taking things away (gec, online returns in store) but giving us nothing in return, i really felt we would see more product on the website since the elimination of gec and there really doesn't seem to be a change at all
I still love my lulu, just a wee bit frustrated!

lululemon athletica said...

Hi all,
This is just a rumour. Our return policy hasn't changed. Stores will still accept returns of online purchases. You can read our full return policy on the website here: http://shop.lululemon.com/help.html#returns

Cheers,
Laura
GEC Online

houndlvr67 said...

@anon 9:57

Last time I heard, PT educators get 40%, FT get 60% off full priced items...

Susan said...

I have no problem with the employees getting a nice discount. They should be able to wear what they are selling. Plus, they don't make a huge salary. And good for them if they are lucky enough to have some of the prized pieces. I don't return much of what I buy online, but I have returned a couple of rare items and the girls looked happy at the store when I did.

:)

Susan said...

Thanks Laura - that is good to hear. It would also be greatif you could please please work on letting us hold an item in our cart for at least 30 minutes or so? I feel so bad when I close out all of my orders separately. But, it is frustrating to have an item disappear while you are still shopping.

Susan :)

Becky said...

I have only ever returned one item that I purchased online.

What I find painful is that it takes 14 days for an item I order online to get to my house.

Also, I wish phone sales hadn't been discontinued, I found that I used phone sales more than anything. :(

Susan said...

Becky - you have 14 days from when you receive the item. Just print out your tracking information. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Laura, maybe you can work on getting back phone sales...did we have any warning before this was taken away?
Very disappointing for those of us who don't live near a store and are at work when the upload happens! We don't stand a chance of getting what we want....

Anonymous said...

No phone sales, can't return online purchases in a store....I've been trying to find a reason not to buy Lulu anymore and I think this is a good one. I buy not only for myself but for my daughter too, spend $$$$$, now I can save that money, 'cause seriously I really don't need more workout clothes.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea so many felt as I did about the various customer service challenges. Short return time, always out of stock, no potentially no returns in store...I have left a comment on the Lululemon site that all of these issues push me more and more to other athletic wear. Re: the customers that purchase more than one size, why not, if you wait to see if the first fits, they will be out of the second size. I purchase from jcrew, nordstrom, anthropologie all the time online and return to local stores if the size is wrong. These are stores in the same price point as we should expect this level of customer service. I live 40 miles from a lululemon so purchasing online is return and then I return only as needed, without this option, no more online purchases of new items.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 stores within 20 minutes, but I have always preferred to buy on line due to the fact that when my stores send out their "This Just In" emails, the educators who work there have already purchased anything interesting that was available in my size. I was thrilled when I called my local store about the Flashback pullover and my size was still available. I had the educator put it on hold and drove there immediately, purchasing it on the spot without even taking it out of the Lulu shopper being used to hold it. I get home and see there's no sticker over the $88 price tag, but they charged me $108. I took it back the next day to get the $10 credit - clearly their mistake - only to have the educator say "The price is $108, it doesn't matter what your tag says." Clearly this is wrong, but the educator made me feel like I was wrong for wanting the credit - so I will never go there again. I'd go to the other store nearby, but don't want to burn both bridges - especially if I can't buy online and return to my local store any more!

Anonymous said...

OMG, all you bitches-who-spend-their-husband's-money-on-overpriced-workout-clothes... your bagging/desire to restrict these lulu "Educators"... Hello, "Educators" is a fancy name for STORE CLERKs at a mere 10 or so bucks an hour. Let them have the mere perks. Afterall, they have wait on your spoiled asses.

Anonymous said...

^ you're an 'educator', aren't you? Probably the same bitter cretin who started this un-true rumor to begin with.

Anonymous said...

The educators are the ones who sell the clothing so they should definitely get to buy the clothes when they come out. Lulu just needs to send more to stores in popular sizes!
The clothing always looks so good on all of them so of course when you go in there to shop, it makes you want to buy what they are wearing! Plus it is one of the huge perks of working for lulu...the discount!

I don't think the women on here are b*tches and that was not nice to say. I know that I work very, very, very hard to pay for all of my lulu by myself and I am sure a lot of the other lulu addicts are the same. I am an instructor and don't get paid much at all but I love to buy lulu and represent lulu.

ojodeazul said...

Wow anon 2:27pm. I am 100% sure I only spend my own money. Please go somewhere else

Anonymous said...

Not, I am not an "Educator." I'm a dental hygienist in Los Angeles. Although, I do educate people on dental hygiene.

Susan said...

Well, wow.... that turned ugly quick. But, I do think that if I worked for $10 an hour at Lululemon and saw customers complaining about my discount, I would probably be pretty ticked off.

But, the flip side of the coin.... I work 2 jobs and pay for all my Lululemon myself. :)

Joanne said...

I pay for all my lulu my self. I get the odd gift card for bday/ christmas. My husband would FLIP out if I ever spent his money on lulu!! I have to hide almost everything I bought in fear of being kicked out!! ahahahaha That statement is completely untrue, and it is not unreasonable to complain about a store not returning online purchases. I do not live near a store ( nearest is 5 hours away ) so when I order online, I love having the option of sending it up on the bus to my friend to return for either new items or gift card so I can re-buy the same item ( different size, color ) or something else.
As lulu has stated, this is a rumor and nothing more. Lets keep moving on with much bigger ideas , such as the GW returning or new Lux's!!! :) :) Anon..don't take your fustrations out on us, if you don't like what we say, don't read!! :)

Lulaholic said...

Oh wow... yes, I too pay for my own Lululemon, as if my boyfriend knew how much I spent on it he would likely divorce me!!! And as far as any of the educators being bitter about "waiting on me" - I'm sorry if when you offered to grab me another size that it was so much work... ugh... try my job one day, I don't get paid much better and I get dogs peeing on me, owners whining about how much it cost to spay their dog, and last week a dog emptied its anal glands on me. If I could help people pick out wicked-ass work out wear and get a massive discount and pick of the shipments I would be thrilled!

Lulaholic said...

...and PS... it seems like all of the bad customer service complaints are coming out of the States, as I have NEVER had anything but TOP NOTCH service at the Kelowna, Whistler and Metro Town locations that I have frequented. Also, the sizing problems don't seem to plague us here, if I wait too long to go down, they are out of sizes. If I go down early in the week there are plenty of sizes.

Anonymous said...

I did an online return at my local lulu today. I bought the Sprinkler No Limit/Ikat tank last week and it just is not me. The Keyholder did not even bat an eye, she just handled the transaction quickly and without any hesitation. I wanted to ask about the return policy possibly changing but there was a line behind me.
Of course my local Lulu is so awesome, the staff there is phenomenal. I have been to another Lulu just 3 miles from my local Lulu and their customer service is awful. So I do think it depends on which Lulu you go to and what educators/staff you are dealing with.

LuluAddict said...

I don't think I've ever had a negative experience at the stores I've been to - Tucson, Phoenix, Glendale, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Manhattan Beach, Newport and Irvine but some stores are more friendlier than others. I try not to project my own insecurities on why that may be and assume someone just isn't feeling friendly at that particular moment. I hate salespeople to hover over me anyway. I don't return things that much, and only one item at a time, and have only brought in a few items to be repaired so I think I am a fairly low maintenance customer. I also walk in wearing something Lululemon so the staff knows I am familiar with the product. I like the staff at both of my local stores a lot and they see me on a weekly basis so they know I am a loyal customer.

Susan said...

I like the staff at the Aventura Florida store. they are always very friendly and I've never had an issue with returns. And the rare quality issues have been handled professionally. :)

Anonymous said...

Lulu response:

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us about our policies. I can certainly see where you are coming from as a consumer and I hope I can shed a bit of light on why we have such a strict return policy on our items.

Unlike many other companies, we release new products every week and have a very short life-span for our products to accommodate the quick turn over rate. With that being said, many items are marked down quickly to remove the product from our product line to make room for the new products. If we were accepting returns after a two week period, we would have many items that are older and have random older styles, colours and sizes. Marked down items run under the principle that we cannot accept older items so we can continue making room for the latest gear that is released. With that being said, I do understand how difficult it is to purchase gifts and shop with us.

While I am sorry you are frustrated at our policies and feel our gear is overpriced, I want to thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. As we are a growing company, we are still working the kinks out with our policies and it's always great to know what would stream-line the shopping experience with us.

Please let me know if you have any other concerns and I would be happy to address them.

Happy 2012

My response:

I understand your response as "the corporate line" (also given in the retail locations) but I don't think too many SKUs will be Lulu's issue if you accept returns for 30 days on sale items. What would it really matter to put a few extra items on the "sale" rack to be enjoyed by other shoppers or in the worst case get consolidated at one of your outlet locations? The real worst case scenario if shoppers are forced to keep items that don't work for them as a constant reminder of their experience. As REI has realized, the brand loyalty that is created when a product is taken back even if it can't be resold is a pittance compared to losing a loyal customer. I am sure the company would pay 10 dollars to acquire a new customer, so why not eat 10 dollars to keep one? Throwing the returned product away and eating the small loss would be superior to the current policy.

I think you focused too much on my "over-priced" language and became defensive instead of the larger issue of customer unfriendly policies that are revenue defeating in the long-run for what is being positioned as a premium brand. Without the in-store yoga studios and other high touch points of the original brand building stores, I fear that new customers will never get to experience the customer friendly side of the brand if their first experience is the return policy.

I hope that you share this feedback with higher-ups that create the corporate policies. As a shareholder and customer I would love to see continued success for the brand. You need to survey customers and front-line sales staff about your policies to adjust as you grow or you will not be able to grow for the long-term.