Is LuLaRoe the Next Fitness Industry Dud?

by Matt Weik

When you exercise, you want something that is not only fashionable, durable, and moisture-wicking, but comfortable, right? You have so many different brands out there these days that are selling workout apparel that it can leave your head spinning. And fashion at the gym isn’t just for the ladies anymore, men are entering the market as well. The days of the beat-up sweats and pit-stained shirts are being traded in for tight fitting joggers, compression pants, and brand-name fitted tops. We see new brands entering the space almost regularly, but it doesn’t seem like anyone has taken off like LuLaRoe has. But, it appears women across the US are not at all thrilled with their leggings experience. In fact, LuLaRoe has quite the lawsuit on their hands. What started as a booming business for the then-single mother of seven kids, has now turned into an all-out attack to destroy her business.

The craze

Over the last year or so it seems like women can’t stop spending money on LuLaRoe clothing — specifically their colorful and patterned leggings. Women rave over how soft and comfortable they are—which might just be part of the problem (we’ll get to that later). While the leggings aren’t as expensive as other well-known brands on the market, they aren’t the cheapest either. I know several women who are almost addicted to LuLaRoe leggings and spend a small fortune on them.

If you are sitting there wondering why you never saw this brand in a retailer, it’s because they don’t sell any of their items to any online or brick and mortar retailer. The only way you can purchase LuLaRoe is through a “consultant.” Consultants actually don’t even get to have a say in the product they pay for and then turn around to sell. The company simply sends consultants a shipment for them to launch with in hopes that someone will buy what they get. But, many women are not happy with how much money they are making off of becoming a consultant.

You could wipe your butt with it?

As mentioned earlier, women are in love with how soft the LuLaRoe legging material is. Many women swear they could live in them. However, some women are saying the leggings rip easily as if it were wet toilet paper. This discovery has created a class action lawsuit against LuLaRoe. Women from across the nation are describing their experience with their leggings as unsatisfactory. Many of them are complaining that after only just one wear of their leggings they are already ripped and developing holes. We aren’t talking about a handful of women either. We are talking about thousands of women who have come forth to throw their hat in the ring with this lawsuit. Many of these women are lashing out at the brand using their social media platforms and saying they want their money back and have said how difficult it has been to work with LuLaRoe with these issues.

Unfortunately for the brand, LuLaRoe now has what the lawsuit claims as, “eight counts related to unfair, illegal, and fraudulent business practices as well as violating laws intended to shield customers and vendors from these practices.” To add insult to injury, the Better Business Bureau has also given the company an F rating on their website due to all of the complains and issues.

Finding themselves in a not so great place to be in, LuLaRoe will try to defend themselves and exonerate their brand from any wrongdoing. They explained that indeed, holes and tears can be an issue due to the brand weakening the fibers used in their leggings, but mentioned they have done what they could to fix the issue while still keeping their leggings “buttery soft.”

The hole just keeps getting bigger, and not just in the leggings

It seems like the poop hit the fan around the March 31, 2016 timeframe for LuLaRoe and that is the point where the lawsuit is inclusive to anyone who made a purchase after that date. However, another lawsuit was also filed against the company. This time for charging the wrong sales tax to those buying their apparel. Now mind you, LuLaRoe has sales exceeding the $1 billion mark as of 2016. Their growth in a two-year span has been exponential. We aren’t talking about a start-up brand here who’s doing a few hundred thousand dollars—we’re talking about a billion plus in sales. That’s huge.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse for the brand, women across the US are ganging up and expressing their displeasure. The brand now has their own consultants taking shots at the company. Many consultants are now making their voices heard on the misleading information that LuLaRoe has given them in regards to how much money they can make selling their products.

We have seen apparel companies in the fitness industry come and go. While the sales for LuLaRoe are exceptional, how will the lawsuits and negativity surrounding their products and brand affect their future plans and goals for the company? We will have to wait and see, but for the time being, there’s a lot of heat coming from all of this and America has spoken and is holding LuLaRoe’s feet to the fire.



 

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