Amazon is currently the forerunner of the fashion e-commerce market, controlling about 20 percent of it. That makes it hard for any company with the same goal to make any headway in business. These facts make the success of Fabletics all the more intriguing. The company is making its way as a fashion e-commerce business, growing to a $250 million business in just 3 short years.
Fabletics is using the ever-growing ‘activewear’ movement and uses a subscription service to sell its fashion products to its customers. The idea behind the business is simple, as it pushes the individual, uses a large convenience factor, which gives Fabletics a powerful, winning combination.
In the past, brands that have reached high value status have typically been defined by their quality and price. In recent years however, there has been a shift in the market, making this combination no longer the only things a brand needs to succeed. Now, factors like brand recognition, exclusive design, service, and customer experience are becoming more and more important to customers.
The strategy of Fabletics is certainly paying off big time for the company. The membership brand will be opening more and more physical stores in addition to the 16 that they already have. Their strategy isn’t much of a secret, and General Manager Gregg Throgmartin thinks their reimagined view of a high-value brand has brought in customers since day one. He claims their membership mechanic allows them to offer their customers products that are not only half the price of other competitors but is accompanied by a customized, personalized service that is making people happy.
As shown in their business model, Fabletics is doing the “retail store thing” differently. One way they’ve accomplished this is by encouraging “reverse showrooming.” Most companies are suffering by their showrooming techniques, where people come and browse in the store and then find the same items cheaper somewhere else (usually online). Fabletics has taken customers’ browsing and turned it into a positive. The current way they are doing their physical stores encourages the building of relationships and allows them to know local markets better.
Anywhere between 30 to 50 percent of the people that come into their physical stores are already members, and an astounding 25 percent become members while they’re there. When a member shops in a physical store, everything they try on is added to their online cart as well. Fabletics does not differentiate between physical stores and online, meaning they don’t care which way their customers buy, as long as they do.
Fabletics was founded by entrepreneurial giants, Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler, founders of JustFab. Alongside Kate Hudson, the company addresses the missing market of “athleisure” fashion, and began in 2013. The company offers personalized outfits for their members that are chosen based on their fashion preferences and lifestyle.
In 2015, FL2 was launched, Fabletics’ men’s activewear line that was done in association of Kate Hudson’s brother, Oliver Hudson. In 2016, they expanded their fashion inventory by offering their members swimsuits and dresses. The company has increased its value by 35 percent each year, and uses their physical stores to increase their membership.