Many marketing experts and business magazines were a bit surprised a few years ago when women’s athletic wear company Fabletics announced that they were moving into brick and mortar stores in addition to being an e-commerce company. In a day in which Macy’s, Dillards, American Eagle Outfitters and other retailers are struggling to survive with Amazon’s fashion domination, conventional wisdom would say brick and mortar stores are coming to an end. That may only be partially true because while consumers love the choices that shopping online gives them, those that go fashion shopping say they still want to get items the same day and try them on before buying. What Fabletics has done is start online first and emphasize getting memberships at their company, and their brick and mortar stores basically are an extension of their online shopping. It’s this reverse showroom type of shopping that may be what’s needed to compete with tech-based fashion retailers.
Kate Hudson, the main owner of Fabletics may not come across as a business kind of woman, and the truth is her professional career had solely been in acting prior to buying a stake in Fabletics. It was Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg, the CEOs of JustFab and now Techstyle Fashion Group who wanted a women’s athletic brand as part of their company but wanted Hudson to run it. Hudson’s laid back personality, healthy lifestyle and belief in making all things authentic were what prompted Ressler and Goldenberg to ask her to run Fabletics. They promised to share resources and funding with the company while still giving Hudson and her staff independence to run it, and Hudson eagerly accepted the offer.
Kate Hudson has done several things over the years that has helped the company grow. She’s been at the Fabletics headquarters often both testing and experimenting with designs, and also getting social media marketing campaigns out there. She’s also looked at customer reviews of Fabletics products and customer service, and she realized she needed to make signing up to become a member easier, and to improve on customer service communication. As those aspects improved, Fabletics started seeing explosive growth to becoming a major billion-dollar company. Part of what makes Fabletics work is using big data to improve the shopping experience, and also having all-inclusive sizes in their inventory. Hudson says that Fabletics should be about making every woman no matter their size feel empowered when wearing Fabletics apparel. You can learn more about the Fabletics brand by going to Fabletics.com, taking the lifestyle quiz and signing up.