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article imageCanadian police find Lululemon fakes outside Sarnia, ON

By Andrew Reeves     Sep 29, 2011 in Lifestyle
Sarnia - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police outside Sarnia, Ontario found a stash of fake Lululemon yoga garments. But competition for Luluemon Athletica, both legitimate and counterfeit, is nothing new.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers found and seized a stash of counterfeit Lululemon Athletica fitness wear at a house party on September 1 outside of Sarnia, ON, just north of Detroit, MI.
Roughly 100 fake items were taken by police on the scene, and no arrests have been made. According to The Globe and Mail, the RCMP later issued a warning to the surrounding community about purchasing Lululemon clothing from anywhere but an authorized retailer.
"Not only do fake items defraud consumers, RCMP say, but they can also be unsafe."
But despite the general sense of ridicule that pervades the comment forum on the Globe website (for example: "A truly worthwhile use of RCMP time and budget. Thanks for keeping us safe from dubious tailoring!"), fierce competition for Lululemon has long been the name of the game, and not just from small-time counterfeiters.
Knockoffs from their competitors (such as Nike and Joe Fresh, who offer similar items for a fraction of the $130 price tag one pays for a hoodie at Lululemon) and the threat that their employees will leave the company to work for their competition has forced Lululemon to raise wages to retain their staff.
The prevalence of knock-offs has gotten so dramatic that in an interview with The Globe and Mail, Christine Day, chief executive officer of Lululemon, explained that “what we are very conscious of is, with a lot of knockoffs coming into the marketplace, if you hire a few Lululemon people you have got really a trained program." Intelligent, well-trained staff, in essence, are part of the experience of shopping at Lululemon.
And the competition isn't simply effecting staff wages. Even company executives are noticing the impact of knockoffs, be they sold in retail outlets or on eBay. “As always we are watching the competition,” chief financial officer John Currie said. “We are aware of them. We are not seeing any measurable impact from new competition.”
Yet with stock dropping in the third quarter, the realities of competition, higher costs and wages, and a tougher economy (which makes justifying that $130 hoodie that much harder) are effecting Lululemon's profitability.
But thankfully, the RCMP are there to help protect their bottom line.
More about Rcmp, Lululemon athletica, Sarnia
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