Lululemon Addict has just reported about the increase in CRB prices. Lululemon admitted to the price increases this morning on their facebook page when a fan had asked about new repricing stickers that were spotted in some stores marking the tanks up from $39 to $42. Initially lululemon declined a price increase and later came back to report that indeed the Cool Racerback Tanks will see increases to $42 for non special edition tanks. Re-stickering prices on the same tanks that were priced at $39 last week! 

As I have reported on several occasions (over here, here and here just to name a few posts) since the price increases have been happening I have become increasingly annoyed at the way the price increases have rolled out. The decision to mark up scuba hoodies 30-40% on old stock inventory that has already been produced  and have lingered on stores shelves is just atrocious and shows no good will towards the customers. The Scuba Hoodies in question where the Snorkel Micro Stripe, Citron Micro Stripe, Passion Micro Stripe and Casis Micro Stripe which were initially released in January 2011. These scubas where then re stickered in stores in April (Inventory that did not sell out in that time mind you) citing the reason that the prices of manufacturing has increased. Baloney!! Those scubas where already produced months and months prior to the increase price. 

Another instance of corporate greed is the Vinyasa scarves that were initially $32 and of much better finished quality. Within 1 year those Vinyasa Scarves were increased to $34 and then finally the quality and finishing has decreased (edges are no longer finished with grossgrain ribbon, it is now a raw edge that rolls and unravels) and the price was further increased to $42. At $32 these scarves have flown off the shelves and now at the new price of $42 they are sitting on the shelves in all local stores for the past several weeks. The Scuba Hoodies that have been in We Made Too Much for a few days have not been sold and the reason for this is because the prices are now at what they where initially. We do not see $98 for a hoodie as a great deal, that is a high price for a hoodie to start with. 

And I have said this before, If retailers would like to move old inventory using markdown tactics to entice me to purchase something I had not initially considered, then they need to make the markdown as well as the return policy more favourable and enticing to the customer. I WILL NOT buy something that is hardly marked down at all and forfeit my right to exchange it with All Sales Are Final. Sorry retailer, you can keep your item that you made too much of, and charged too much for and perhaps later you will bring your prices back down to earth so that we can all resume our shopping. In such an unsteady economic climate I really resent retailers that take advantage of consumers in this way, particularly a retailer that has seen profits increase by 75%. 

I can tell you that if lululemon wants to truly put an end to counterfeit lululemon clothing then they can make it less of a temptation for already stretched consumers to purchase more reasonably priced Scuba Hoodies on ebay (or from other sources that may be selling counterfeit) instead of purchasing them on We Made Too Much. Or from purchasing copy lululemon items from other retailers like Jo Fresh, Costco, Target, Zellers etc. Lululemon is very mistaken in thinking that these other retailers are not creating high quality items made of high performance quality technical fabrics (and in some cases even made in Canada and the US!!). My Costco Cool Racerback Tanks are every bit as good as the Lululemon variety and just a fraction of the price. 

How do you readers feel about these increasing prices on old inventory and on core items? 

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18 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    September 28, 2011 / 10:53 pm

    Well said! Enough is enough! I wish that Costco would get more Lulu like items!

  2. Laura B.
    September 28, 2011 / 10:53 pm

    I am truly getting sick and tired of the price increases. As a consumer and lulu customer, I am appalled at the money grabbing lately. If the price of cotton went up, then price new stock accordingly. I haven't heard anything about the price of luon going up, so I'm not sure what excuse there is for that increase. If lulu continues to do these random and inexplicable price increases on a basic item like a crb, I'll be getting my layering staples from elsewhere. At least with most retailers, I don't have to worry about returning it after the two week period.

  3. Anonymous
    September 28, 2011 / 11:17 pm

    I'm getting SO sick of these price hikes!! Ugh! At $39 that was a tank that everyone would buy and feel good about what they bought. I know its just a 3 dollar increase, it just ticks me off since the racerbacks were my favorite item. Sadly i'm going to resort to the 'we made too much' section from now on.

  4. Anonymous
    September 28, 2011 / 11:34 pm

    well said and totally agree LULU are you LIstening???

  5. Melissa
    September 28, 2011 / 11:48 pm

    The CRB is a staple of my workout gear as well as my everyday wear- not anymore I guess. I was already getting frustrated with the boring repeated colors all year long- now when they do come out with new CRB colors I will not be buying them. I will just stick with what I have and if I need color I will get UA tanks (there is plenty of color choice there anytime I want it!!)

  6. Anonymous
    September 29, 2011 / 1:03 am

    I agree. Its the repricing of the older items that bothers me. I have been voting with my feet and shopping less in Lululemon. I have the scuba type hoodies from Costco and love them. And the jackets from Zellers are great too. I would not go looking these alternatives if I felt comfortable still purchasing Lululemon but I am not at all happy about this greedy behaviour. This simply reinforces my resolve to buy elsewhere! Well done alienating so many loyal customers Lululemon!

  7. Anonymous
    September 29, 2011 / 1:48 am

    AMEN!!! I need recommendations for other gear. Like athleta. Isn't there another great Canada based company that has beautiful workout gear?

  8. September 29, 2011 / 2:00 am

    I would have to agree with everyone else. Most of the latest designs are plain ugly and I haven't seen an actual deal in Loot or in store in ages. Repricing existing stock is rIdiculous. I will continue to buy the things that look similar, cost MUCH less and, frankly, wear better than Luku does these days.

  9. September 29, 2011 / 2:52 am

    Great post and I totally agree!

  10. Anonymous
    September 29, 2011 / 3:16 am

    Very well said and couldn't agree more!!!

  11. Shannon
    September 29, 2011 / 3:40 am

    The repricing of existing stock just disgusts me. This company makes SO much money. I love their clothes, but I'm much more choosey about what I buy these days. My "need" for lululemon is decreasing, and every time they pull stuff like this, I get more fed up.
    Sad, because I love their clothes for working out.

  12. Anonymous
    September 29, 2011 / 3:54 am

    Your sentiments are amazingly well said. It is extremely frustrating that Lulu is being so greedy while everyone complains that their quality is decreasing. I normally wear crops and have been thinking of getting a pair of groove pants, before they hike those already ridiculous prices too, but am leery with all of the poor reviews on their listing. Almost all on the first page are unhappy customers!! I'm not really sure what they're thinking, but people are going to start pulling back on their spending, if not completely walk away. SHAME LULU!!

  13. Olivia
    September 28, 2011 / 11:17 pm

    Price increases when a new version comes out are one thing. Price increases on merchandise PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY BEEN ABLE TO GET AT THE ORIGINAL PRICE are just plain stupid and greedy and a real insult to our intelligence.

    I'm a business student. In accounting specifically, and there is no way it's possible that on a $39 TANK TOP an increase of $3 will be worth the alienating of customers.

    Don't even get me started on the Scubas. I bought ONE for $108 at the end of August because I had promised myself I would buy my first ever Scuba hoodie after working out all summer. If only I'd known the first time I'd tried on that Heathered Pig Pink Scuba that I'd save $10 buying it at the beginning of summer…

    This is not a good business model. Scarcity I get. Premium price, I understand totally. But greed is never something your customers should think you are.

    You don't see Apple increasing iPod prices without at least adding new features, do you?! If anything, their prices go DOWN after time.

  14. September 29, 2011 / 9:59 am

    There goes any desire I have to add to my CRB collection. Should we take bets on what the new loot price will be for CRBs? I'm going to guess $39. This repricing is not a smart move, I'm going to be cutting down on my lulu spending, I'm not going to spend hard earned money on a company delights in ripping off customers.

    What lulu doesn't realize is that they are a trendy company right now. Their success is not sustainable, especially with these shady business practices and the ever decreasing economy. If they continue to alienate their core customers, the ones who believe in the company so much they start blogs and facebook pages, and lord knows what else to sing the companies praises; if they alienate the customers that know the fit, cut, name, and colorcode of every lulu item ever made, well, what happens when the overprived yoga wear trend ends? It's probably not 75% profits!

  15. September 29, 2011 / 1:39 pm

    This really makes me mad. I loved that I could grab a new crb and change the look of my outfit or get a new color for less than $40. The price increases are getting out of control especially when they are making huge profits and the economy is in the dumps – not to mention their decrease in customer service. Costco and Under Armour here I come.

  16. September 29, 2011 / 3:29 pm

    Cost increases do not creep up on a company; inflation in the countries in which they produce has been obvious and present for the past few years. So either they decided they couldn't live without that supplier or they felt they could meet revenue targets even with price increases.

    If it's the former, then shame on LU for not addressing this openly with their customers. If it's the latter, then they likely have a bigger strategy at play. I am wondering if LU has plans for retail expansion outside their three major markets at the cost of their existing customer base, which has been pointed out are in "stagnant economies".

    Interesting.

  17. Anonymous
    September 29, 2011 / 8:51 pm

    Even $39 for a cotton tank top was a bit steep but it was a good way to get a colour you loved without paying $52 to $64 on a tank top.

  18. Moss
    September 30, 2011 / 4:26 am

    I wish I had bought all the Costco CRBs instead of just two. Maybe they will come out with more. Even at 13$ I am sure they were making a killing. Over 40$? No way.

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