* Lululemon recalled see-through pants in March
* Stationing staff in factories; changing testing process
* Chief Product Officer to depart April 15
April 3 Lululemon Athletica Inc's chief
product officer will leave the company, the retailer said on
Wednesday, after a popular product proved too risqué for its
Lululemon said Sheree Waterson will leave the company on
April 15. It has stepped up testing and factory supervision
after uncovering a batch of partially transparent stretchy pants
Waterson, a fixture on the yogawear brand's investor
conference calls, joined Vancouver-based Lululemon in 2008.
Lululemon said in March it was pulling some black pants made
with its signature Luon fabric off store shelves because they
were too see-through. It warned that the move could lead to
shortages and dent its profit by up to $40 million this fiscal
On Wednesday, Lulu said these forecasts had not changed.
Lululemon effectively created the market for premium women's
athletic wear with form-fitting pants, colorful tank tops and
pricey sweatshirts. In recent years a cluster of competitors
have rolled out more yoga and running wear, typically at lower
prices, so its longstanding reputation for quality has become
more important than ever.
The company said its specifications and testing have not
changed significantly from 2006. But the Luon fabric used to
make the batch of see-through pants "was on the low end" of its
"When combined with subtle style changes in pattern, the
resulting end product had an unacceptable level of sheerness,"
it said in a statement, promising to run all Luon products
through a new testing process.
Chief Executive Christine Day said in March that her team
was "devastated" by the recall and was rethinking how it tested
"The truth of the matter is the only way you can actually
test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over," she
Lululemon said it has stationed employees in its suppliers'
factories to test and monitor its products.