Lululemon said it may lose $20m worth of sales because of the fabric fault

Lululemon said it may lose $20m worth of sales because of the fabric fault

Activewear retailer Lululemon has warned that it may lose sales of around US$20m during the first quarter after issues with a key fabric used in its leggings has forced it to withdraw some of the products.

The retailer said certain shipments of its black Luon pants, arriving in store from 1 March, did not meet its technical specifications and were sheerer than expected.

Over the past weekend, the retailer has pulled all of the affected black nylon and spandex Luon women's bottoms from its stores, showrooms and e-commerce site.

Lululemon says it is now working with its supplier to replace the fabric, and its other manufacturers to replace these key items as quickly as possible.

"We believe the affected items represented approximately 17% of all women's bottoms in our stores and for the near term there will be a shortage of these styles available to our guests," the company said yesterday (18 March).

The company said it has used the same manufacturing partner, Taiwan-based Eclat Textile Co, on key fabrics since 2004, adding that the problem is not due to changing manufacturers or quality of ingredients.

"We are working closely with them to understand what happened during the period this fabric was made," a statement said.

Lululemon is offering refunds or exchanges on black Luon pants bought after 1 March.