When Lululemon thumbed its nose at empathy by blaming women's thighs for its own mistakes, customers started saying in droves "You don't actually get me at all." It is like discovering your spouse has an alternate personality that you don't recognize. Where did Lululemon go wrong? In our view, two places.
A lot of people will directly correlate Chip Wilson's decision to stand down as Lululemon Non-Executive Chairman to comments he made in November, when he redirected a question about the quality of the fabric of the company's pants, suggesting that they may not be appropriate for all women's body types. His resignation will be called a necessity, a firing, and a forced move. This is an over-simplified view of what is really happening at Lululemon.