It is common knowledge that when it comes to online retail of fashion related items, shops like Amazon control almost a quarter of all the sales. This is perhaps because they have been around for a while and they have fine-tuned their service to the needs of the customer. To see new and upcoming fashion brands take on industry giants is both refreshing and intriguing. Yet, with only three years in the business, Fabletics has managed to break the glass ceiling and is giving Amazon a run for their money. So, how does a new comer in the business manage to pull such a move in such a short period of time?
Fabletics is part of the growing movement known as Active Wear. When the business model was conceptualized, the founder, Kate Hudson was looking for a business model that would sell stylish clothes to clientele who like the gym, working out and the fit lifestyle in general. In the past high- value brands have been defined by two things, cost and the value of the goods. As long as the quality was great and the customer was assured that what they were buying was trendy and unique, they didn’t have issues spending on it. However, this dynamic is really changing because everyone has brought their A game to the industry. In order to make it, one needs a combination of customer experience, brand recognition, and exclusive design. These are the qualities that Kate tapped into and the results have been fabulous.
The team at Fabletics has been likened to Apple and Warby Parker because of their smart business strategy. This year, the shop plans to open in sixteen physical locations to add to what they currently have in places like Illinois, Florida, California and Hawaii. Gregg Throgmartin says that their secret for success lies in their ability to re-imagine a version of a brand that is both high value and friendly to the user’s pocket. Using their model, their customers are able to feel on trend and elegant, but not break the bank to achieve this.
The concept of reverse show-rooming
This is one of the marketing tactics that have proven very effective for Fabletics. Normally, you will find customers browsing for an item, liking it and then buying it somewhere else, especially if they can save a few extra dollars. To avoid this show-rooming, they decided to make retail just a part of the overall experience. This means that when a customer walks into one of their shops, they are already a member of their store and when they make a purchase, it goes into their online cart as well. They have therefore successfully managed to avoid being the place where one looks for the cool brands that they can go and buy lookalikes for elsewhere.
This shop was set up five years ago. They provide women with trendy clothes such as yoga pants, leggings, joggers and other items of active wear at a very attractive and affordable cost. The store was previously online based but has been opening stores all over the country. Currently, they are making a net profit of about $250 million annually.