After more than five years with Vancouver-based company Lululemon, CEO Christine Day is stepping down, Buzzfeed reports.
“This was a personal decision of mine,” Day said on a conference call with analysts yesterday. “It’s never a perfect time to leave a company that you love. I’ve had a great run at Lululemon over the past five and a half years, and I’m really proud of what the team and I have accomplished.”
Day said she will lead the search for a replacement and won't officially leave until she finds one. She told Buzzfeed that she informed Lululemon of her decision last Friday and that a search committee was formed over the weekend.
This is the second time Day and Lululemon have landed in the spotlight in six months: In March, the company had to recall 17 percent of its pants for being too sheer, which Day said slipped through quality-control processes because "the only way you can actually test for the issue is put the pants on and bend over."
We wish Day the best of luck on her next endeavors, and we'll be interested to see who replaces her and what vision he or she may have for the yoga apparel-making company. In the meantime, we've rounded up some fun facts and figures so that you can learn a little bit more about Lululemon.
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1. Lululemon made $712 million in sales in 2012. Unlike many other big retailers, Lululemon doesn't build lots of new stores, it doesn't rely on software to track customers' purchases, and it very rarely holds sales or discounts merchandise. So how did it rake in a record $1,800 worth of sales per square foot last year? Day told the Wall Street Journal last year that she spends hours in each store listening to customer comments and complaints and tweaking practices accordingly. The store also cultivate a sense of urgency by purposely leaving stores under-stocked—encouraging patrons to buy when they see an item they like, rather than waiting.
2. The company got in a bit of hot water for combining Ayn Rand and yoga. Lululemon decorates many of its shopping bags with self-help quotes from various sources. But in 2011, the company found itself making headlines when it lifted the opening line from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, "Who is John Galt?" While many Lululemon shoppers were outraged, the company's founder and chairman, Chip Wilson, wrote in a blog post that, "Our bags are visual reminders for ourselves to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity. We all have a John Galt inside of us, cheering us on. How are we going to live lives we love?”
3. Working there is a little bit like being in a "cult." Business Insider posted an in-depth interview with "Hope," a former Lululemon employee in February, in which she talked about the company perks, practices, and more. "You have to drink the Kool-Aid a bit, and if you're not going to drink it, you won't do well and you probably won't like it. Most people do like working there," she told BI.
What do you think about Lululemon? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @Shape_Magazine!