January 16, 2013 / 4:28 PM / 6 years ago

Lululemon had long waits, product "misses" in holiday season

A Buddha shrine sits at the entrance of Lululemon Athletic, a yoga clothing store, as a woman shops with her dog in San Francisco, California, in this March 31, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Kimberly White/Files

(Reuters) - Lululemon Athletica Inc’s LLL.TO CEO said on Wednesday the yogawear retailer attracted so many shoppers during the holiday season that some stores had trouble coping with the traffic, and she conceded that some of the chain’s new products fell flat.

Chief Executive Christine Day, speaking at an investor conference, said some stores had lines of 50 to 70 people long, with customers waiting an hour just to buy a gift card.

On Monday, Lululemon released new forecasts for the fourth quarter, confirming a sharp deceleration in same-store sales growth, and its volatile stock tumbled.

“I think our product in the fourth quarter was some of the best we’ve ever had,” said Day. “That said, as you kind of transition into a more technical space, particularly in Canada, coming from our grassroots of really yoga and a little bit more casual wear, for us there were some misses.”

Day did not single out specific products. She said the company also needs to make sure it carries enough products at “gift-giving price points.”

Day was speaking at the ICR XChange Conference in Miami.

Reporting by Allison Martell; editing by Andrew Hay

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