Crisis Management Time for Luluemon after Dallas Store Bashes Charity

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Didn’t think we needed to say it, but don’t talk smack about charitable organizations…

[Editor’s note: This post was written before the latest uproar over comments from Luluelmon’s CEO regarding body types, which we’ll be covering tomorrow!]

Yoga outfitter Lululemon (say that three times fast) won acclaim for its handling of a crisis stemming from translucent yoga pants earlier this year, but one of its Dallas-area stores may have tossed the company right back into the fire.

What went down? PRDaily’s Matt Wilson has the scoop:

To anyone who doesn’t live in the Dallas area, a message posted in a window of a local Lululemon store seems like nonsense. “We do partners yoga, not partners card,” the message says.

For people in Dallas, the message seems to be a shot at The Family Place, which raises money for area women’s shelters. The charity offers a $70 “Partners Card” that buyers can use for discounts at 750 local businesses.

Culturemap Dallas reported that Lululemon’s NorthPark store has offered to help the charity, but with yoga classes or wellness lessons rather than direct donations or customer discounts. The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink asked the store to take the message down Saturday, but it stayed up until Monday.

Images of the window sign were quickly posted to Lululemon’s main Facebook page, where stakeholders from all over ripped the organization a new one and left plenty of threats to never shop at the store again. Lululemon made the call to redirect the issue to the Facebook of the Dallas store, in what would turn out to be a smart play to keep discussion of a negative event on their main corporate site to a minimum, and pointed commenters to this post:

Post by lululemon athletica NorthPark.


Not only did Lululemon apologize, pay respect to The Family Place, and actually thank stakeholders for their brutal feedback, but the company backed its statement up with action, and made sure everybody knew about it with this post a few days later:

Post by lululemon athletica NorthPark.


Now, despite a pretty strong crisis management effort from Lululemon, a look through comments on the Dallas store’s Facebook shows quite a large contingent who aren’t accepting of the apology and amends.

Why? Because the communication from Lululemon was missing one essential aspect crisis communication – compassion. Without compassion, much of your communication will fall on deaf ears, and your crisis management will never be a complete success.

Erik Bernstein
Social Media Manager

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