Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lululemon~~The Negative Publicity Keeps on Rolling....

OK lululemon athletica , I have closets full of your clothing and have spent entirely too much money wearing and promoting your brand only to find that your idea of Compassionate Capitalism falls somewhere between subpar and non-existent.  I was lucky enough to have one of the Lululemon "Guest Educators" debate the benefits of their Corporate NOT giving policy with me.

I'm sure she could win a debate on the benefits of Luon vs. Luxtreme for Bikram, sadly she would have been out maneuvered and outwitted on almost any other topic.
I am chairing the auction at the my daughter's school and after checking your corporate giving policies and realizing that 60% of your "Metta Movement" funds were distributed at the store level, I went to the Lululemon Bethesda store to ask for a possible product or gift card donation. Each time I recant this story I find myself amused at the store manager's idea of corporate giving. She very firmly told me they do not give product or gift card donations but if I submitted a "written proposal" for my charity they would talk about it at the next team meeting and if they thought it was "cool" maybe one of them could "come be a greeter or something". I asked if this was similar to "Kohl's Cares" where they volunteer and then the school receives a $500 grant from Kohls Corporate and clearly confused--she was like, "no, you get one of us as a greeter". Mind you, I shop at this location AT LEAST twice a month.

Please--Stop and explain to me one more time why I should think having a random stranger greet people they don't know at an event they have deemed "cool" is helpful and charitable.  I'm still perplexed.
After informing her that I was done shopping and promoting for Lululemon I got online and did some research on how much you all give to charity. It was sad, very very sad. There is the one incident in Dallas where you gave $10,000 to smooth over hurt feelings with a battered women's shelter after putting a HUGELY inappropriate display in your window (they denied your lame offer of free yoga classes and explained that battered women don't need yoga--they NEED shelter, food, clothing, legal counsel and protection), $14,000 for yoga for veterans, yet overall your Compassionate Capitalism is disappointing and insulting to the people who build your brand up with their business AND wear it while teaching over 200 students a week in fitness classes. All the while singing the Lululemon praises and product endorsements along the way.
I didn't even try to hide it.
I've learned a lot chairing this auction and my favorite lesson is that Athleta was happy to give our school a $100 gift card--at the store level with no "insider connections" and they have a powerful Compassionate Capitalism program. They also are happy to have instructors wear their product with a 30% discount.

Hello Athleta, buh bye Lululemon with your fat thighs and see through pants.  I'll enjoy wearing what I have but until you get a soul I'm out, but don't worry--I'll still trash your policies at every turn. I'm vengeful that way.
I'm hoping that you address this problem soon because there is no way I will purchase anything from Lululemon until I have a clearer understanding of your Compassionate Capitalism design and giving program and it is more generous than it stands now. Being "a greeter or something" does not cut it, sorry. If you want my business and something beyond negative publicity from your target demographic there needs to be a change. While corporations can choose what to do with their profits I can choose to shop at ones that actually give financially to their community--not waxing poetic over their lack of actual charity.

Yes, to get my business you actually do. Sorry if I expect you have a conscience even when you did not screw up and offend an entire town with your window advertisements.