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Lululemon CEO: Recent 'drastic changes' led to an 'instant pickup' in sales

LULU CEO: 'Drastic changes' equal 'instant pickup' in sales

The stock may be spiraling, but Lululemon Athletica CEO Laurent Potdevin has a proactive approach to saving the Canadian retailer's shares and reputation.

"We're a little disappointed, obviously. We're not satisfied with Q1. We had a slow start," Potdevin told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Thursday.

"It's a smaller quarter, we identified the issues very early on in the quarter from an assortment standpoint and from a visual merchandising [standpoint] online, and we've taken drastic steps to fix it," Potdevin said.

The CEO said that since Lululemon began seeing the weaker results that sent its stock plunging after Wednesday's earnings report, the company has been flexing its creative muscle and introducing new products and colors to their mix.

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Lululemon CEO: Recent 'drastic changes' led to an 'instant pickup' in sales

"I feel very confident about the steps that we've taken and how quickly they've had an impact on our performance," Potdevin told Cramer. "We've seen [an] instant pickup in our performance."

And despite a flurry of analyst downgrades of Lululemon's stock, Potdevin said that he is the most excited about 2017 than he has been about any other year since joining the company in 2014.

"When you look at the guidance for 2017, I mean, we're guiding double-digit revenue increase with earnings that are in line with the revenue growth, so I feel really good," the CEO said.

When Cramer pressed Potdevin about whether competitors like Bandier, J. Crew, and Old Navy are catching on to the health and wellness trend a little too quickly, the CEO pointed to Lululemon's overseas business as proof of its leadership in the space.

"There are a lot of great brands out there and we continue to lead the market. I mean, there is no doubt in my mind that the healthy, active, mindful lifestyle that we created, we continue to lead that," Potdevin said. "I mean, I see the strengths of our business in China. Our business in China is on fire."

And Lululemon is not only moving forward with product development. Potdevin said the retailer will continue to actively buy back "as much stock as we can" in the near term, plans to roll out a global ad campaign in May, and will grow its brick-and-mortar footprint by about 10 percent in 2017.

While the brick-and-mortar initiative may seem counter-intuitive in an environment where traditional retailers are struggling to make ends meet, Potdevin insisted that the strategy, which involves expanding high-performing locations, will work.

"Where everybody's closing and going smaller, we're actually doubling down in the stores where we're having tremendous performance," the CEO said. "So very light footprint, very highly productive footprint, and we're optimizing that in a really powerful way."

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