The fashion meets fitness sweet spot is called the activewear market. Wearing gym clothes outside of the gym has never looked as good as it does today. Retailers like Nike, H&M, Lululemon, and other big name retailers want a piece of the billion-dollar activewear market. Several celebrities have teamed up with clothing manufacturers and retailers, and they are getting in on this 21st-century goldmine. The 1980s was the decade for aerobics, but the craze disappeared quickly.
Kate Hudson is the face of the online activewear giant, Fabletics. In three short years, Fabletics has managed to build a $250 million company by giving consumers the active lifestyle look they crave. Fabletics gives consumers the look and feel they want at prices that don’t destroy the budget. The company developed a subscription based model when the parent company JustFab decided to go “all in” in the activewear market. JustFab needed a spokesman and someone that represented what Fabletics was trying to sell, so the executives at JustFab approached Kate and asked her if she would help launch the brand. Hudson is not just the face of Fabletics, she is also the person that helps build the looks that the company offers to members.
Being an online company does have its rewards, but there’s a new challenge for online merchants. That challenge is to build brick and mortar stores. Amazon is opening retail locations around the country, and Fabletics is taking Amazon on and opening their own retail locations. Fabletics is changing the typical retail strategy. Fabletics calls it reverse showrooming. That’s a phrase that never crossed the minds of typical retailers. Typical retailers want to sell merchandise in stores, at once. But Fabletics gives consumers the option to buy their merchandise in the store, or they can put it in an online shopping cart and buy it later.
In order to do that successfully, Fabletics has developed a new merchandising model that uses online data to identify customer preferences in a particular store location. Fabletics locations only stock products that have a local appeal. And the concept is working.
Fabletics has 16 stores open in California, Hawaii, Illinois, and Florida. But the plan is to open another 75 to 100 stores within the next five years. The reason for the rapid expansion project is three to five people that walk through the doors of a Fabletics store are subscribing members. And 25 percent of the non-members that visit a store become members while they are shopping.
But Fabletics has something Amazon doesn’t have. Fabletics has its eye on activewear, so the company is focused on that segment of the market. Plus, Fabletics has Kate Hudson, and that is one powerful, living and very active advantage. Fabletics is not out to bash Amazon, but the company is out to show consumers what real service and value is.