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Lululemon accused of shunning plus-size customers

Is the company fat-shaming or being singled out for a common retail policy?
(Photo: Flickr/Lululemon Athletica)

Lululemon is drawing criticism after an article on the Huffington Post accused the yoga retailer of discouraging fat customers by keeping larger-sized yoga pants out of view on the retail floor. But is the company being singled out for a common retail policy?

The article included insights from former employees about the company’s skinny-promoting culture, but it largely focused on one employee, Elizabeth Licorish’s account. Licorish said pants that are size 10 and over are folded and relegated to a hidden area in the back of the store and that large sizes are rarely restocked. Some individuals quoted said the policy was hypocritical, since the company claims to be be about inspiring all women to work out and get in shape.

But experts said the practice is a common one among retailers, which most shoppers can attest to. One manager noted that the policy was simply in response to low demand for larger sizes, which rarely sell. It makes sense—you can’t fault a company for knowing its customer and displaying the most popular sizes.

Then again, Lulu fans (and foes) tend to hold the brand to a higher standard, since Lululemon tends to present itself as an aspirational wellness lifestyle company, not just an apparel peddler.

What do you think? Is Lululemon fat-shaming or is the company simply following common business practices? Tell us in the Comments section, below.