The Lululemon Warehouse Sale: The Dramatic Tale of a Basic B*tch Scorned

lululemon-warehouse-sale-bostonHappy Friday! It was great to be back teaching at Burn this morning after a couple weeks off to be in NJ—instructing early in the day always sets a positive tone for me. And a positive shift was desperately needed after having THE WORST NIGHT OF MY LIFE last night.

The Lululemon Warehouse Sale. Let’s talk about it.

The blowout sale is in Boston this weekend, but there was a special “VIP” opening last night where ticket holders could snag first dibs. Well apparently Lululemon has a very loose interpretation of the word “VIP”. When I got to Hynes Convention Center a little before 6PM, there wasn’t a line out front which I took to be a good sign. I walked in and approached the sale room and saw only a small line outside of it—also a good sign. I was ushered towards the end of that line … and then beyond it into another room. You have no idea the horror that awaited me.

Picture Ellis Island but replace the petticoat dresses with yoga pants and the smallpox with resting bitch face. The line of basics wove around this massive holding room, completely filling it, while Justin Bieber blasted over loudspeakers with a shotty bass. I had just entered the seventh layer of Hell, my friends.

I’ve never seen a line this long before in my life. And I’ve been to Disney World during peak season. Based on visual observation and my anxiety levels, I’d estimate that Lulu capped their VIP ticket sales at 50,000 people*. Very exclusive. For some reason though, instead of turning sharply around on my heels and walking out, I shuffled along to the end of the line like the brainwashed sheep that I am. And just to clarify, this was the line to get into the other line I had seen outside the actual sale room. But it seemed like they were letting in large groups of people at once, so I still held out hope that things would move fairly quickly.

*Actual numbers may vary—I’m known to exaggerate when enraged.

Hour 1: Mild-to-Moderate Irritation

I went into the sale expecting to wait about an hour’s time, so the line wasn’t too bad at first. I caught up on some emails on my phone, Snapchatted the scene like a dutiful millennial, and the two guys behind me made for hilarious eavesdropping (“Will you judge me if I go to the women’s section? I need more mesh in my life.”) If you were one of those two men, serious question: Will you be my friend??

Hour 2: Low Morale, Panic Levels Rising, Anger Level Elevated but Stable

After the first hour, my entertaining line partners made the smart decision to bail. Add to that a dwindling battery percentage on my phone and you have the beginning stages of a Basic Betch Meltdown. All of a sudden, it was like every single girl in the room was on her period.

You start having doubt. You start questioning everything and picking apart possible scenarios in your head. Should I bail now? But I’ve waited so long, I’ve got to stick it out. Ok, I’ll give myself a time limit: If I’m not into the sale in 30 minutes, I’ll leave. But then 30 minutes passes and you think, f*ck it, I’ve waited this long, I can’t leave now. Or can you? Your mind is racing and the walls start closing in.

Hour two is also when the rumors start spreading. You overhear the woman four people in front of you say someone on the inside texted her they’re already sold out of size 4 capris. WELL THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING. But then the teenager walking to the bathroom announces loudly across the room that her BFF said there were endless racks of all sizes. Who to believe? Who can be trusted?! Is this whole thing a set up??!!!!

As your paranoia rises, you start getting angry. Is that sonofabitch walking towards me trying to cut the line?? You run through the lecture you’re going to spew angrily into that cheater’s face as your eyes narrow and you size him up. As he nears your territory you purse your lips, locked and loaded with the now well-rehearsed venomous rant when—whup nevermind, he’s just going to the water fountain. My bad.

Hour 3: Defeat

After two and a half hours of waiting in line, I finally made it into the sale room. It’s now 8:30PM. The racks of clothing are organized by size so I walk over to my area, getting elbowed back and forth like a foosball along the way. Lululemon is normally low on my sizes as is, so I’m not sure why I expected any different, but talk about devastation. There was barely any variety to be found in my size. Add to this the crushing blow of Lulu’s “sale” prices. $60 leggings. Really?! After all this hype?! Don’t get me wrong, that’s still a lot better than their full-price, but when you wait in line for two and a half hours, you want to feel like you’re in a mothereffing Dollar Tree, damnit.

I was deflated, hungry, and really needed to pee—the trifecta of doom when you’re in a room full of crazed, aggressive college chicks with their dads’ credit cards. Still, I had to find something to buy. I mean I’d spent my entire Thursday night in line! I found a cute tank, shorts and some leggings and went to go check out. That’s when I saw it. The line to check out.

I lost it.

Throwing the clothes I was holding dramatically onto a nearby table, I turned around and stormed out like the rational, mature adult that I am, all the while chanting “I can’t. I can’t. I just can’t.” over and over in my head.

That’s right.

I didn’t buy a single thing.

Three hours of my life I will never get back.

Because I hadn’t already reduced myself to the most basic of basic betches over the course of those three hours, I stomped out of Hynes and straight to my nearest sweetgreen for a salad while rapidfire texting my girlfriends about my horrible night, warning them not to venture within a five-mile radius of that hellhole of a warehouse sale.

The kale and avocado (“light dressing, please—no bread”) seemed to calm me, and I went to bed that night reassuring myself that I’d been through hell and deserved a trip to the real Lululemon store the next day to treat myself to some full-priced leggings.


And here we are. I had a real blog post scheduled for today but decided to scrap it in favor of this wildly exaggerated rant because I keep laughing at what an asshole I am. Waiting in line for two and a half hours (not even against my will!) for slightly discounted yoga pants that I didn’t even buy. The end of the world is near, people.

Enjoy your weekend and FYI–I’ve had several friends report that they found great stuff at the sale this morning. If you’re in Boston, it could still be worth checking out.

Did you go to the sale? Are you traumatized, too? Should we start a support group? 

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  1. Nicole I am DYING, you are so effing funny. I mean not to laugh at your misfortune, I would’ve been irate (#worstzenyogateacherever). I have definitely been there though. Not a lulu sale but it was a teeki sale. Only instead of a warehouse it was in the back corner of some well light but kind of sketch alley in LA. And instead of racks, the clothes came in boxes and girls were literally fighting over the pants in the boxes. And the best part was that their ‘sale’ price was like $10 less than retail. Waste of an afternoon of my life I will never get back, wahhhh

  2. This is amazing, and so, so true. Lines like this drive me crazy, and I totally become that person who shoots the stink-eye at potential line-cutters. I’m running Lulu’s half marathon in Vancouver next year, and will steer clear of that warehouse sale and the betchy attitude it would bring out in me, haha.

  3. I’ve had this experience one too many times. That’s why I NEVER go to sales anymore. The stress isn’t worth it.

  4. I am DYING right now. This is hilarious and probably the exact emotional response I would have. For sure. And I’m sure there would be a whole lot of “Fuck this!” as I walked out.

    Thank god for good salads to keep you from murdering someone.

  5. You write so well. I love your writing style/your voice.

    You better go buy yourself some damn full-priced Lulu leggings today. You must.

  6. OMG the same thing happened to me! I got there at 615, didn’t get into the sale room until 9, and hated everything inside. I walked out of the chaos, hoping it was a really bad nightmare. Oh wait, it was.

  7. Laura Campbell says:

    This has officially confirmed that I will not be attending this weekend. A whole lot of credit to you for sticking through the line, and then peacing out.

  8. Omg that literally sounds miserable. I love Lulu but not enough for that!!

  9. Lol. I was one of the many who got turned away. Did I rsvp promptly.. yes.. did I have my ticket in hand yes.. Here’s the kicker of it.. they had those that got turned away to take a photo of themselves with a lulu worker or 1 of the security/police men that were organizing the crowd then they would allow us to jump the line if we came back another night. Needless to say I traveled from NH to hit up this sale.. with the cost of tolls.. gas.. and parking this really is not a sale!!! Epic fail Lulu!!!

  10. Hahaha this made me crack up. I’m on my way to the sale right now and now I’m scared 😳 I’m going to be so mad if I don’t end up buying anything. Luckily I’ve heard the line isn’t bad right now but fingers crossed…

  11. Haha, this was the best post I’ve read all year. I’m also from Boston and debating going on Sunday. I’ll probably swing by and scope the situation… if it’s too long of a wait I’ll just bail. Hopefully prices will go down by that day, too.

  12. A hilarious post! Thanks for reminding me why I buy most of my clothes online.

  13. I was having some FOMO about not being able to go, but now I’m glad I can’t.

  14. OooooMG! Just found your blog and I’m so happy – I love the way you write! So sorry you lost those three hours at the “sale”, but it was worth it for the blog post … so damn hilarious. I’m off to go digging through your site to read earlier posts that I’ve missed. 🙂

  15. Dude Nicole, this post is effing hilarious.

    I can’t say I’m surprised, though. Lulu’s profit margins have narrowed and it’s making their stakeholders pouty, so they’re making up for it by tricking basics into stalking “sales” that save them a whopping 20% (if they’re lucky). Both their online warehouse sales and weekly markdowns have been consistently profoundly underwhelming lately, including screaming deals like tops marked down from $68 to–wait for it–$64.

    In my “professional” activewear blogger opinion (lmfao), lulu’s quality is VERY hit or miss right now, so the things that make it as far as warehouse sales are honestly not even worth sale pricing. Personally, I would rather buy 1 thing I really love and feel is good quality at full price than 3 things at sale prices that no one wanted the first time around. My activewear collection is pretty large though, so deals just don’t do much to woo me anymore. Good thing though, I live in the middle of nowhere so I have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever making it to a warehouse sale anyway, lol.

    • the lululemon sale was in new zealand too (auckland); it wasn’t as crazy as people here generally are aw…sigh…kiwis, super duper polite bunch. & btw i follow your blog and wanted to post a comment re “lululemon never ever does sale”. it does! (:

  16. Yeesh! Sounds insane… I went in Long Island a few years back and am grateful the line wasn’t like that

  17. Omg this is amazing!!!! I literally had the EXACT same reaction to everything although my dumb ass ended up waiting it that 8th ridiculously long line I had been in and spent $300 on things that were just “ok” and did the same thing… Went to The real lulu lemon today and bought full priced capris because I was so angry at the sale… Makes absolutely zero sense but somehow that happy experience I have at the local lulu seemed to calm me from my lack of sleep thanks to my 5 hours spent driving, parking and waiting in the Ellis island to get into the country of lulu random shit that no one wanted. Loved your article you seriously nailed it! So glad I wasn’t the only one that felt this way!

  18. And when you’re thinking what could be worse…. your meter is about to be up, shop for just 10 mins, ran to the checkout and there’s another freaking line and ended up with a $55 parking ticket….

  19. Though extremely painful for you, it sure makes for a hilarious story! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  20. Full price is wayy better than that bs.

  21. Okay, the part that scares me is that you say you’re STILL planning to shop their retail store. Which means you are rewarding the Satans of athletic wear. I think you should go in, pee in their bathroom, then leave, loading proclaiming, “Target has way better value.”

  22. This is the best thing I’ve read all day, month maybe even year. HILARIOUS. And for the record, I probably would’ve done the exact same thing, all of it. haha

  23. Nicole! I am with you sista ….right there with the frustration and anger. I told the overly confident b**** manning the line that this was a PR nightmare for the company because unless it was like the OZ of LuluLemon when we got into that room with the clothes, I was going to tell everyone I know on FB TW and IG my miserable “VIP” experience. I appreciate you helping me out with that effort! I’d rather pay full price than go to that sale again!

  24. Nicole Engel says:

    You crack me up! We had a Lulu sale here in Chicago about 5 years ago and all of my friends went the first couple of days and said it was absolutely insane but for some good stuff. So my curiousity got the best of me and I went the afternoon of the last day. I must say the lines were not bad at all, but there wasn’t much left to choose from in my size. I did come away with a few pieces but would have rather splurged at the regular store for something I truly loved. Props to you for sticking it out as long as you did, lines and waiting make me nuts so I prob would have lost my sh*t!!

  25. Funny read….feel your pain….lulumon and their prices ptttthhhhhh

  26. I am crying laughing. I’m so glad I did not go! You are a very good writer!

  27. so sad that people feel the need to fit in

  28. kategburt says:

    Holy crap – dying laughing right now over this. I was so envious hearing about the sale in Boston (about 5 hours away) and for a SPLIT second considered driving. OMG – dumbass that would have been. Jeez … I hope you got a nice pair of full priced leggings at Lulu.

  29. Kale and avocado? This called for ice cream or chocolate.

  30. I had the same situation with a Vinyard Vines sale I went to a few months ago. It was pure hell. Not worth my time or money. Never again! Thanks for sharing!

  31. christine says:

    I was also at the “VIP night” and had the exact experience you did except since i was too tired and hungry to try anything on, i just bought 5 pairs of leggings/capris all with the outside tag marked 12. i went right to bed. when i got home so in the morning i checked out my purchases only to find that the pants are all size 8 and the tag must have been marked with the Euro size 12 which is an 8 US. talk about a true waste of time. also, if you wanted a black, heavy knit cropped sweater or a pair on harem pants you’d do quite well…..

  32. I’m sorry you had such a miserable experience but this piece made me sooooo happy I didn’t go. I was planning on being there Thursday night with the other 50,000ish VIPs. I agree with the other post about it being a PR nightmare for lulu. Don’t believe the hype!

  33. This was hilarious! At least you managed to turn a miserable situation into something that makes people laugh.

  34. Oh man, how terrible. I probably would have reacted in the exact same way, perhaps even worse. At least you got a tasty salad out of it!

  35. I went to the lululemon warehouse sale in Minneapolis 2 years ago. Many of my friends who went on the first two days had to wait 4+ hours. I went on the second to last day during lunch hour and only waited a half hour. They restock the sale each day, which is nice, and the sales get better and better each day. The friend I went with went back on the last day when they were having 10 items for $50, and she got a bunch of socks and a couple tank tops.

  36. I know I am late chiming in on this but I wanted to say this is such a hilarious post Nicole! Love it! I shared it with several people and they agreed 100%. Thanks for sharing such a funny story. 😉

  37. Anonymous says:

    Nothing says more basic to me than people who almost swear but don’t quite. You think it’s cute but it’s not. Bitch.

  38. hi Nicole,
    I’m a new follower of your blog and this post by far is the funniest shit I’ve read in a long time LOL I first came across your blog through Pinterest when looking for a quick and effective workout. I’m trying to incorporate more strength training into my routine and your posts help so much. when I stumbled upon THIS hilarious story though…wow. you have a truly loyal fan here in LA! haha keep posting these funny ones! they’re fun to read when I’m sore and stretching from rough workout days 😉

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