Went into Athleta with the friends. Prices are comparable to every other major brand and it's just one of those options available when it comes to choosing workout gear. I'm not too sure about the quality since I don't own any and haven't put them to the test. Bought four basic pieces to try. Skipped all their 'athle-leisure wear'. I like my sports gear to be functional with clean lines, rather than pretty and full of 'strategic' holes. 😬
At this branch of Athleta in Bellevue Square, there's a Lululemon just twenty meters away across two corridors, and somehow that afternoon made me want to give Lululemon all my money instead. The four items (two tops, two leggings) bought were purely to satisfy my curiosity about their quality. No bras. I don't like their bras and thick pads (removable). They're as bad as Lorna Jane's. Ridiculous. At this thickness, those bra pads are going to start stinking even if they've been thoroughly laundered. Also, they don't provide complimentary extra bra pads. Lululemon does. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's super appreciated. I like replacing bra pads after a few months.
That afternoon, there were three sales executives, and all wore frowns, looking hassled. It was a week day and not crowded. I counted five other shoppers and two at the dressing rooms. Nobody said hello to us when we walked in, even though one sales executive was right at the shelves by the door sorting out the display. She didn't give a hoot about who walked in until somebody went to the payment counter with their intended purchases. No one offered to help, not even when I went to the dressing rooms. When one sales executive finally helped (with getting desired sizes), it was clinical. It's almost as if they're paid not to smile. My gawwwd. Well, no one was rude or anything. But it was such a different experience from Lululemon. But yes, it must be recognized that others might not want Lululemon's brand of possibly intimidating enthusiasm and don't want to shop there.
And there's this thing. Now, how should I put it in a politically correct manner? There's a distinct lack of energy on the floor at Athleta particularly in the staff's demeanor and attitude. It felt morose that strange afternoon. I wasn't inspired to get into the clothes to hit the studio or even to buy more items. I very much prefer Lululemon's staff attitude, vibes and cheer.