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Lululemon's NorthPark boutique in Dallas is in some hot water of the foot-in-mouth variety after posting a sign on its store window that stated, "We do partners yoga. Not partners card." The missive was a response to an annual charity initiative run by The Family Place, a non-profit that works to protect and shelter victims of domestic violence. Locals can buy its "Partners Card," which offers discounts at participating local retailers, for $70—money that goes to fund the charity. A long list of stores like Anthropologie, Bottega Veneta, Calypso St. Barth, Diane von Furstenberg, Gap, Intermix and Kate Spade are offering the card at their Dallas locations.
Unsurprisingly, their clever turn of a phrase landed like a lead balloon in the community. After shoppers responded with anger, the Lulu staff claimed that it had an existing relationship with the charity and that instead of funds, would be bringing yoga to battered women's shelters. On Facebook, they posted, "We are working in collaboration with Family Place to offer the gift of yoga, and what we can create together."
Which sounds nice, but apparently wasn't true. The retailer reached out to the charity after the fact, reports CultureMap Dallas, and no agreement is in place. Said The Family Place's executive director, "Yoga is so much of apart of their lives that they think everyone would love yoga, but yoga for a woman who was beaten is not the first thing on anybody's mind at The Family Place."
Here is the full message that Lululemon posted on their Facebook wall about the controversy:
We are truly sorry for the window display over the weekend. Even though it was not our intention to offend anyone, that is in fact what happened. We have the utmost respect for the important work that The Family Place does in domestic violence prevention and never intended to suggest otherwise.
Supporting you and our community is our most important job, and we are partnering with The Family Place to create a wellness program for their staff. We've learned a great deal from this and thank you all so much for your honest feedback about such an important cause.
· Lululemon at NorthPark tries to make amends after lying about existing Family Place partnership [CultureMap Dallas]
· Lululemon Window Display Draws Criticism [NBC]
· Lululemon Taking Its Spandex to Hong Kong and London [Racked]