NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lululemon Athletica
(LULU) would like nothing more than to regain its shining star status, a time when women viewed the active wear as both hip and accessible. But that was a mood of a different era.
These days, Lululemon remains a brand in flux, sometimes even flummoxed. So, has the yoga apparel retailer lost its luster, for good?
The Vancouver-based company is trying to stem the bleeding caused by its Luon pants fiasco last year by re-merchandising stores, focusing on international expansion and driving sales through social media as well as in-store technology, CEO Laurent Potdevin noted on today's earnings call, but it sounds like by the time Lulu gets to where it wants to be it may be too late.
"In an athletic apparel market that remains competitive, with new entrants offering merchandise that is equally compelling, we believe it is imperative for lululemon to ensure it is putting its best foot forward in all capacities. After multiple quarters of weak performance, we are increasingly concerned that the brand is permanently damaged at some level," Morningstar analyst Jaime Katz wrote in a note on Thursday. "In our opinion, lululemon's lack of an economic moat has become even more evident over recent quarters, as same-store sales have remained negative and the competition has grabbed share of the lucrative athletic apparel market."
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