Kate Hudson’s brand, Fabletics, is an athletic-wear company that has found success in a competitive clothing market by doing things differently than other brands in the space. The Fabletics brand is up against big players, and yet has found a place at the top. Many brands in the fashion industry are getting hit hard by Amazon’s entrance into the marketplace. Customers often browse physical stores to try items on, only to purchase later through online retailer Amazon.
Physical stores struggle with this ‘showrooming’ effect. How has Fabletics risen to the top, to become a $250 million dollar company over the short span of time that they have been operating? One of the ways lies in the way they have reversed the ‘showrooming’ effect, and worked with an online platform rather than conflicting with it.
The Fabletics brand actually sells more than just an item at a time. Instead, they sell memberships. This is a very innovative approach to selling active wear, and allows the company to use physical locations in a brand new way. When customers enter into a physical store to browse, they are put into contact with the brand and can begin to see what the Fabletics movement is all about. Local events and activities help customers get to know the brand and what it stands for. Customers might already be members, and enter a store in order to try on items or get a feel for what is new.
The browsing customer might also be new to the brand name, and come in to get more information and see the product for themselves. About a quarter of the customers who enter a Fabletics brand physical location actually become paying members due to their visit to the store. This means that the Fabletics model is using physical locations of retail in an entirely new way. Instead of losing business to the ‘showrooming’ effect that other stores have noticed, they are instead gaining loyal customers.
The Fabletics brand was founded by celebrity Kate Hudson, whose breakout role in “Almost Famous” launched her into a successful career as an actress. Her journey in acting and celebrity status made her the perfect leader for the start-up of her now uber-successful athletic-wear brand in 2013. Though she does not have a background in business, she joined up with Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg, and together they began working towards building a brand that would fill the niche of affordable, attractive and trendy athletic wear.
The company took off and since launching in 2013 has grown exponentially. Kate Hudson is involved in the design of clothing and the daily operations of the business, including working on the social media strategies in place, looking at the budget and sales numbers, and making decisions about what items and looks to produce. She is known for helping the brand stay true to a clear vision in terms of the quality of merchandise, and the style that the company promotes with their clothing items. She leads a very active lifestyle herself, and wants every item to function optimally. The defined style that the clothing has is one of the many reasons for their success over the last several years.