UPDATE 3-Lululemon outlook still crimped by sheer pants debacle; shares slide

Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:57pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Adds CEO comment, details on shipment delays, CEO search, analysts' comments)

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc, still recovering from an embarrassing recall of excessively see-through yoga pants, trimmed its outlook for full-year sales and profits on Thursday, saying tougher quality controls have spawned delivery delays.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Lululemon has made form-fitting yoga pants a wardrobe staple for millions of women and built a reputation for clothing that can withstand years of use and hundreds of washes.

But the March 18 recall of black Luon fabric yoga pants, its biggest-selling item, dented its reputation badly, and its chief product officer left the company in April.

Lululemon's shares fell as much as 8 percent after it said the third quarter had got off to a weak start due to late deliveries of fall seasonal items, a hangover from the disruptive recall.

"We're working back through all of our other fabrics to make sure that we're hitting the quality standard we want," Chief Executive Christine Day, who is also set to leave the company, said on a conference call.

She said commercialization - the development and testing of fabrics and products - is the main bottleneck facing the company, which effectively created the market for high-end yoga wear.

Delivery delays are likely to last through the end of the year even though Lululemon is air-freighting some items to its stores, and incurring extra costs as a result, she added.   Continued...