Technically, no, this was not a rugby match. Rugby matches only last 80 minutes.
Late afternoon last month in downtown Vancouver, Canada, a day after its grand-opening, hundreds (thousands? millions?) of customers jostled one another in Lululemon’s sparkling-new, 4,400-square foot flagship store on the southeast corner of Robson and Burrard streets. These young, beautiful people scooted around racks of T-shirts and hoodies and pants, hoping to snag one of the latest creations from the athletic-wear behemoth that traces its roots only a few miles away.
Dressing room lines stretched 20 minutes long. There was a professional seamstress on site sewing customized shorts. Several people (already clad in old Lululemon clothes) waited in line at the shelves. This was for the men’s underwear, labeled as ABC—Anti-Ball Crushing. Medium sizes, of nearly every item, were scarce. Long-sleeve, silver-lined shirts disappeared by the minute. One customer couldn’t decide between two colors of the shirts (each priced at $79.99), so he picked up both, saying to a friend, “One will be gone if I leave it. I’ll decide at checkout.” Smart move. Four minutes later, the entire rack was cleared. Sweat-wicking, four-way stretch pants ($98.00), hanging on a nearby rack, vanished. So too, it seemed, did some of the people. Said another customer to his friend, “I’ll see you outside. This is f****** insane.”