Lululemon Athletica Inc. has another recall headache on its hands, this time involving hard-tipped elastic draw cords on hooded tops.
The company has voluntarily recalled 318,000 women’s tops — 133,000 in the U.S. and 185,000 in Canada — that feature the hard-tipped elastic draw cord, which was first sold in January 2008 through December 2014 in its stores, online and with select partners for between $75 and $260. A company spokeswoman said, “As always, our priority is doing the right thing for our guests. We voluntarily contacted Consumer Product Safety Commission, an independent agency of the U.S. government and Health Canada, both working to ensure our products perform for our guests.”
The CPSC on Thursday described the hazard in its recall notice as: “When the elastic draw cord with a hard tip in the hood or around the neck area is pulled or caught on something and released, it can snap back [and] impact the face area and result in injury.”
The CPSC said the recalled tops involved a variety of colors and styles. There were seven reported incidents, with each one resulting in injuries to the face and eye. It also said consumers should stop wearing the tops with the cords and either “remove the draw cord or contact Lululemon to request a new, nonelastic draw cord with written instructions on how to replace the draw cord.” The different products that feature the cord are manufactured in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Peru, according to the CPSC Web site.
The last recall was in 2013 when the yoga apparel firm recalled its popular black Luon yoga bottoms because they were deemed as too sheer. That misstep, representing about 17 percent of the firm’s bottoms inventory, hurt the firm via a loss of about $67 million in sales. The company also fired its chief product officer. The Vancouver-based firm’s chief executive officer, Christine Day, exited the company later in the year.
The latest recall isn’t expected to have any material impact on the company’s bottom line. The company spokeswoman said, “We assessed and accrued for the financial impact [of our proactive plan to replace these draw cords], and do not consider this to be material to our business.”
The company seems to be back on track under the leadership of ceo Laurent Potdevin. Earlier this month, the company posted first-quarter results for the period ended May 3, in which net income more than doubled to $47.8 million, or 34 cents a diluted share, on a net revenue gain of 10.1 percent to $423.5 million. That compares with net income of $19 million, or 13 cents, on net revenues of $384.6 million a year ago. Comparable-store sales in the most recent first quarter rose 6 percent.
Shares of Lululemon closed up 0.1 percent to $67.56 in Nasdaq trading.