To preface, I am not a Lululemon shopper and mainly because I’ve been a broke college student for so long that I can’t justify spending $100+ on a pair of leggings that is made with very thin material. I also don’t think I perform at a level where I would notice the difference between a “premium” pair of leggings and a “budget” version, my leggings from Target’s C9 Champion line.
But, Lululemon brought its Warehouse Sale to Dallas and everybody and their mom was excited for it. I wanted to check it out to see what “low” prices they had and it would be a good chance to experience firsthand what the hype is about without having to feel heartbreak from my empty wallet.
Friday was opening day and the line was HUGE, which was to be expected. It wrapped around the building and then some. The line took some people four hours to get through… I was guessing they had deals, but were the deals worth a four hour wait in line?? I knew Saturday would be worse since people actually have the day off and that meant more time to camp out in line. I had originally planned to wake up at 7 A.M., but I decided to get up at 6 A.M. instead with this new knowledge of the lines. I was getting up at 6 A.M. for a sale on a weekend when I should be getting some sleep. What has my life had come to?
My first out of four alarms went off, and I hesitated to move because I was so comfortable. Forget it… I don’t even shop there, so why change that now? But, I already had this planned and I was going to go; I got up five minutes after the alarm went off, which is an accomplishment.
When I got dropped off by my Uber, I didn’t see any crazy line that people were talking about. I walked for a bit, then saw a parking lot full of cars and it was then that I knew that today was going to be no different that Friday. Sure enough, there was already a line of maybe 200 around the building at 6:35 A.M. So I started the hour and a half wait before being let into the building.
I broke out the Heart of Darkness, a perfectly fitting book for the environment I was in, and started reading it standing up in line because I wasn’t going to waste precious time standing there staring at space. I did a take break here and there and gaze at the sight in front of me: the demographic that Lululemon targets was all here. Young, white, skinny, upper middle class women. Yes, there were some men and people of color, but by and large the targeted demographic made up the majority of the line.
Time went by pretty quickly as I dug into my book, but I couldn’t help but overhear the questions and conversations around me.
“Should we get something for Sharon? You can’t return anything because there are no tags.”
I tried my hardest to tune them out.
“I still have money I can use from graduation to spend here.”
One thought flings to another.
“I wish we were by the curb so we can sit. Where’s that music coming from?”
I try to concentrate on my book when I see the line moving out of the corner of my eye. 7:30 A.M. The line was moving thirty minutes earlier than expected, so the people and I were overjoyed. I looked back and the end of the line wasn’t visible anymore.
We reached the inside of the warehouse and it was roped off into a winding line like something you’d find at airport security. And there we were weaving in and out in a single file line mindlessly, fenced in, so we don’t stray from the group. Phones shot up in the air because did you really go to a Lululemon sale if you didn’t record it?
It was 8:04 A.M., later than what was promised, and I was growing impatient wanting to see what they had to offer. I could feel the buzz inside me and I’m not even a loyal Lulu shopper. Some guy was shouting words into the microphone that I couldn’t make out, but people around me were screaming out of excitement anyway. “Are you ready?” Words that I heard loud and clear, and with that the line starting moving forward still carefully fenced in.
Once inside the actual sale, I could see the dozen of racks with different sizes labeled. I was lost and couldn’t tell if it was sorted by bottoms or tops or accessories, but I wanted to breathe it all in anyway. In each aisle, there were girls flipping through each hanger at rapid speed trying to grab the piece they wanted before anyone else.
I saw a lot of crops and printed, colored bottoms. I grabbed green space dye leggings and black dotted printed leggings unsure if I would keep them, but it didn’t matter because I wanted to hold onto them just in case. I went over to the tank top section and didn’t see anything that looked good. It was a bunch of cotton tanks that wouldn’t be good for working out, but I snagged a gray tank with a built in bra. Onto the next section: girls digging through boxes and boxes of sports bras. I’m a size two or four, so I didn’t have trouble finding pretty, strappy sports bras in my size, but I know others in larger sizes did have trouble. I grabbed six and a yoga mat nearby too. (I already have a yoga mat and don’t regularly practice it, but maybe this will motivate me to.)
I didn’t want to go to the dressing room, but I wanted to make sure I was getting well fitting clothes for the prices I was paying. Surprisingly, the line to the dressing room moved quickly, and as I walked in, I realized why.
I froze — it was a room full of girls in plain sight stripping in and out of leggings and tank tops and sports bras trying to snag a glimpse in one of the eight wall mirrors placed around the room. I unfroze and plopped my stuff down and starting stripping unashamedly. I tried slipping a sports bra over my head and realized it didn’t fit and quickly took it off. Some of the pieces I had only slipped half way on and I already knew if I wouldn’t like it. I left two sports bras and the tank top behind.
Girls were scattered outside of the fitting room along the wall sorting trough their winners and losers in their big gear grabs. The losers piled in the red trash bin, where other girls sorted through the tossed out gear hoping that they would find treasure in someone else’s trash. Other girls slipped clothes on and off prompting the guy in the microphone to yell, “Please do not change out in the warehouse. There are fitting rooms in the back!!”
I stopped to sort through my clothes to make sure I was getting what I really wanted. Another sports bra went away because it more suited for yoga, which I barely do any of. I decided to do another pass because they were restocking throughout the day. I managed to find a tank top and a pair of leggings with mesh detail to my liking. I returned to the space near the wall to cleanse out what I didn’t want. It took me a long time to figure out what pieces I wanted and what I didn’t because they were all so… pretty, and they would be a nice addition to my closet for both the athleisure and actual workout days. But, did I need it? Most importantly, did I need it at this price point when I could get something comparable for my needs at Old Navy for $30? It was all a great marketing technique, once again convincing us to buy things we want, but may not need.
And I found myself falling for it as I walked in line with three sports bras, two leggings, two tank tops, and a yoga mat. Yeah, I convinced myself that this was my chance to test out the Lulu hype out for myself at a low price because I wasn’t going to pay $100+ for a pair of leggings. But I was going along fine in my gym routine without them, and somehow I convinced myself that I needed them.
I looked at my finds carefully, trying to calculate my final bill in my head, and trying to determine if this item would provide a function in my wardrobe. I tossed one of the tank tops to the side.
The cashier was making small talk with me, while I was half listening trying to get to the crux of the situation, the final bill which was a whopping total of $241.32. Deep inside it made my heart hurt, but I still whipped out my credit card in no time with no questions asked.
That’s what shopping sales does to you, though. On top of it, this is not just any sale, but a warehouse sale where the cost of the items as a secondary thought when they really should be the first. Sales make you think that you need things that you were perfectly fine living without two hours ago. I know I fell for it in no time at all.
So, there I was — walking out with all my goodies in a black Lulu bag with all of the things that I didn’t necessarily have any intention to buy. I wouldn’t expect anything less out of a Lululemon warehouse sale.