Heather Albert was on a business trip to Utah when she stopped by the Lululemon store for some retail therapy. After dropping 36kg through weight-loss surgery a year ago, she was encouraged by her fiancé to buy herself some new workout gear to celebrate. What was intended to be a quick shopping trip before a work function turned into a humiliating experience when she “heard one ED [sales assistant] whisper (loudly) to the other, "DO we even have anything in her size?" and both proceeded to giggle” with the exchange leaving Albert mortified.
Posting on the Luluemon Facebook page, Albert shared her “WORST experience ever” with readers, who were outraged at how the store's employees acted. Even though the brand stocks clothing up to a size 16 on their Australian website, Albert, who is a size 14, was still body shamed.
Lululemon reached out to Albert in private to reply to her Facebook post, and later told the Daily Mail “we welcome everyone in our community into our stores and love to celebrate the creation and completion of health and fitness goals — regardless of shape or size. Lululemon engaged with her immediately and the resolution is in process to ensure she felt heard and valued as a guest.”
This isn’t the first time the fitness label has found itself in hot water regarding their comments about women’s bodies. Brand founder Chip Wilson stepped down from his position as chairman in 2013 after responding to complaints the new material used in their leggings was easily pilling.
"They don't work for some women's bodies... it's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it," Wilson said at the time.
However, that particular pant line was later recalled as they were found to be faulty.
The Canadian company has 200 stores Australia-wide and in 2016 turned a $6.8 million profit which is in stark contrast to the previous year’s $7.2 million loss.