Lululemon treats larger sizes differently, often stocking them in the back of the store, according to former employees.
“Most of the merchandise was presented out on the floor, hung on the walls, or folded neatly in cabinets for all the world to see,” Kim Bhasin at The Huffington Post writes of a store in Philadelphia. “But the largest sizes — the 10s and the 12s — were relegated to a separate area at the back of the store, left clumped and unfolded under a table.”
Lululemon also didn’t restock the sizes frequently, employees told Bhasin. Sizes larger than 12 aren’t offered at all.
Shunning larger sizes is a key part of Lululemon’s strategy, according to Bhasin.
“Far from an accident, the exiling of larger clothing by Lululemon is a central piece of the company’s strategy to market its brand as the look of choice for the stylishly fitness-conscious,” he says.
The company didn’t comment for the story.
Lululemon’s competitors, like Athleta, are offering larger sizes in order to get an edge. More than half of the apparel-purchasing population in America is now plus-sized.
Lululemon angered some customers last month after suggesting that those complaining about see-through pants should try a larger size.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.