When Amazon is the leader in online sales across a number of popular niches, they usually do not have the time to focus on their competition. Commanding a 20 percent share of sales in the apparel niche is impressive and shouldn’t give Amazon reason to pause, but an active-wear company has been causing quite a stir in the space Amazon is used to dominating. Kate Hudson‘s Fabletics is that company, and to pull in over $250 million in sales in three years is something the competition should be worried about.
Hudson talks about her athleisure brand as a high-quality piece of women’s active-wear that is all about the shopping experience. Hudson says that the secret the success of her company comes down to reverse showrooming and her membership plan. Her customers go to the local mall and visit the Fabletics store, getting to see all the latest women’s workout apparel and try on all the clothing they desire. At the retail stores at the mall, women can get their Fabletics membership, take a Lifestyle Quiz, window-shop, or try everything on in the store. The sales associates are not pushing for sales, so this relaxed atmosphere only adds to the overall shopping experience.
When these same women eventually shop at the Fabletics website, they discover all the items they wore inside the store at the mall is waiting for them on their profile page. Now since these women have tried on the workout apparel and know it fits them perfectly, they are free to shop based on that size without having to worry if it will fit. This is in contrast to the shopping experience at e-commerce sites like eBay or Amazon, because buyers get one piece and usually return it because it doesn’t fit. At Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, the clothing has been worn and these women just want to load up the shopping carts so they can show off the latest workout apparel next time they are at the gym.
Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is a total shopping experience for women, and membership means you also get lower piece pricing, free shipping for all online orders, and even your own shopping assistant. Your assistant uses your quiz answers to pick an item each month you might be interested in. This formula seems to be working, and all the other retailers in this space should start paying close to Kate Hudson’s Fabletics brand.