Far from being almost famous, Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s fabulous athleisure line, challenges retail competitors offline and online. Its quick success created dents in even powerhouse Amazon’s earnings.
Partners Hudson, Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg leverage a three-prong approach to their business success.
- They turned consumer showrooming to their advantage. Using reverse showrooming, they sell more.
- They harnessed big data to determine stock, drive design, site stores and cater to customers.
- They grow the company based on customers and culture.
Modern retail suffers from consumer showrooming. That’s the practice of window shopping in a bricks and mortar store to touch, feel and try an item, then find the best deal online and buy it there. Fabletics turned the practice to its advantage by carrying its online stock in its stores. Fabletics often signs up new visitors for its membership program, guaranteeing them a discount. Even without it, a shopper can leave the store with the exact outfit at the same price as online. Many members visit local stores to try on outfits they spot online. Fabletics doesn’t care where they purchase since it’s all the same company.
Big Data Driven Fashion
Fabletics leveraged big data before it was cool. It uses data on customer sales and favorites to drive future designs and lines. From its initial idea of an inclusive athletic brand with affordable prices, it grew based on customer communication. Hudson, long a champion of strong women, uses her brand as an empowerment tool. Women spoke up – recognized through the website’s interactions, data and its unique Lifestyle Quiz, which you can take to learn which Fabletics wear works best for you. The quizzes showed women wanted attractive, well made athletic wear in all sizes because they all wanted to look good while improving their health. Hudson delivered.
Some successful subscription services use pop up stores to quickly proliferate retail locations throughout the country. Not Fabletics. It focused on its data, studied its competition and listened to its customers. It chooses locations serviced by one of its main competitors where it also has a large existing membership base to its subscription service. The store offers a retail opportunity to its customers and draws in new consumers. Between 30 to 50 percent of its in-store shoppers already subscribe to its service and 25 percent of in-store shoppers become members during their visit.
While data driven distribution, quality clothes and reasonable prices drive the brand, so does its founding culture. Customers know Hudson’s genuine commitment to health, althletics and well being from her interviews. The actress has openly discussed the importance of exercise to her mental and psysical health, especially as a mom. Customers know the challenges she faced post-pregnancy to get back to “actress” shape and her comittment to do so, without sacrificing family time. Hudson’s Fabletics encompasses this, featuring her in its clothes, which she actually wears. She posts photos of herself in Fabletics gear working out to her Instagram, sometimes with her children.
Fabletics set itself apart by focusing on customer needs, creating quality clothes and building a brand organically. Its growth remains customer focused, ensuring continued expansion past the ten countries it currently serves.