When Kate Hudson and the founders of TechStyle Fashion Group (Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg) established Fabletics in 2013, it is hard to fathom how the company would survive the competitive e-commerce industry. However, the activewear company is successfully weathering the storm. In fact, so far, it can be said that the company is successful or it is moving towards success.
Although many factors have contributed to keeping Fabletics afloat, ‘’reverse showrooming’’ is the leading factor. Fabletics has over 16 physical stores spread across America. For many years, big brands have complained about how customers frequent their stores only to browse through trendy items and leave for stores that offer the same items at a relatively lower cost. Bearing in mind the negatives of physical stores, Fabletics decided to implement the use of physical stores but in a creative way. Since Fabletics is a membership-based company, over 50% of people that visit their stores are already customers while over 25% of non-members are willing to be enrolled as members. The physical stores are seamlessly linked to Fabletics’ online store, and when a customer tries any athleisure clothing, that clothing automatically appears in their online cart.
Fabletics has developed an ingenious use of online data. The company uses local online data to stock its physical stores; this ensures that regional stores are only stocked with items required by local buyers. Fabletics is aware of changing tastes and preferences, and it is always evolving items in their physical stores according to the latest trends. Apart from local online data, Fabletics stocks its physical stores based on the preferences of local members, social media view, store heat-mapping data, and actual sales statistics. Gregg Throgmartin, Fabletics’ General Manager, explains that although the company also relies on serendipity in sales, their stores are stocked based on the earlier mentioned factors.
Throgmartin is of the view that the membership model used by Fabletics is crucial in serving the “modern consumer.” He asserts that through the company’s membership model, customers can get customized services and on-trend fashion athleisure clothing at a relatively cheaper cost. Moving forward, the company remains in a good position to make its members happy not only because the company knows who they are but also what they want.
Anybody can become a Fabletics’ member. The company’s website, Fabletics.com, allows new members to sign up on top of retailing stylish, high quality and affordable products.
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