May 19, 2020

What can be learned from Lululemon's recent recall on tops?

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2 min
What can be learned from Lululemon's recent recall on tops?

Lululemon, the Vancouver-based clothing company has recently recalled 185,000 tops in Canada. The reason behind this impromptu recall? The drawstrings on various tops have been deemed “dangerous.” Is this action expected to hurt the business of the famous athletic wear brand? And could others in the industry possible learn from this and avoid similar circumstances? Find out!

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Originally reported by CBC News, the Lululemon recall was issued jointly by Health Canada and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The clothing company went on to admit that it’s aware of at least five incidents and injuries related to the tops’ use.

Specifically, jackets, hoodies, tops, tunics and pullovers throughout Canada are being recalled. These clothing items were made in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia or Peru and mostly sold during 2014. It’s believed that roughly 133,288 of the affected tops were sold in the United States, with another 185,191 in Canada.

In a recent release, the company had this to say: “Consumers should stop wearing the tops with the elastic draw cord and either remove the draw cord or contact Lululemon Athletica to request a new, non-elastic draw cord with written instructions on how to replace the draw cord.”

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So far, it doesn’t appear that the company will be affected by the recall; however, time will tell. Lululemon could very well lose customers. Or, potential clients could be thwarted by this recent mistake and choose to shop for athletic clothing elsewhere.

However, Lululemon did something appropriate, something that all business leaders should take note of: they admitted their mistake.

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One thing all customers appreciate is honesty—you need to always be up front and open with your customers. In doing so, you will prove that you’re loyal and in return, you’ll attract loyal customers. After all, it’s loyal customers who will help your business grow and become successful.

Mistakes happen and some issues are unavoidable and out of your control—but always respect your customers and be up front and honest with them.

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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