Fabletics reveals ambitious fifth-anniversary expansion plans
Digital-first subscription-based women’s activewear retailer Fabletics has announced a flurry of upcoming store openings in celebration of its fifth anniversary, along with a string of executive hires and plans for international expansion.
The 76 new locations will bring Fabletics’ store count up to 100 in the US, significantly boosting its brick-and-mortar footprint. Among the locations will be a new store concept set to be revealed in Bellevue, Washington.
Much like its online platform, Fabletics’ physical stores are built around a membership model. The brand integrates the on and offline consumer experience through its proprietary OmniSuite POS technology, and its 24 existing retail locations in the US are currently seeing growth of over 20% in year-over-year same-store sales.
Fabletics has also been successful abroad, with revenue growing 25% year over year in the ten European countries in which its products are sold. Building on this initial success, the California-based brand also announced that it would be ramping up its global expansion, starting with a first international distribution partnership which will introduce Fabletics to the Philippines this fall through an e-commerce platform, free-standing stores and shop-in-shop concepts.
Further plans are already in place to launch the brand in new territories throughout 2018 and 2019, through both international partnerships and company-owned expansion.
The TechStyle Fashion Group-owned company was founded as a pure-play subscription-based e-commerce retailer in 2013 by Kate Hudson and TechStyle co-CEOs Adam Goldenberg and Don Rossler.
Like a number of other digital-first retailers, Fabletics has since diversified into physical retail while maintaining a focus on technology and personalized service, and the brand’s fifth-anniversary plans strongly suggest that it will be making significant investments in brick-and-mortar retail over the next few years.
It’s a strategy that could well prove lucrative if recent studies attesting to the popularity of the physical retail experience among key millennial and Gen-Z demographics are anything to go by. Furthermore, studies have also highlighted the importance of cross-platform integration to these consumers, a demand that Fabletics should be well positioned to cater to with its in-store OmniSuite technology.
“I am incredibly proud and humbled by how far we’ve come as a brand,” said Kate Hudson in a release. “We set out to create an inclusive community where women would feel empowered to live an active lifestyle. Five years later, we’ve done that and so much more […] I’m excited to take Fabletics to the next level as we set in motion our vision to double revenue through exciting new initiatives.”
To help guide the company in this next stage of growth, Fabletics also announced a number of new additions to its leadership team.
Former VP of women’s design at Lululemon Athletica, Karen Pornillos is joining the brand as fashion director and VP of design, having most recently served as lead designer of Free People’s activewear line.
Pornillos will be working alongside former colleague at Lululemon, Felix del Toro, who has been VP and chief merchandise and design officer at Fabletics since 2017, having previously worked at Ann Inc and Gap. Shefali Shah will also be joining the brand as VP of merchandising after 10 years at Victoria’s Secret.
Nancy Arnold was announced as VP and creative director, having worked at a wide range of brands including Chloe + Isabel, Victoria’s Secret and Ann Taylor. She will report directly to Kristen Dykstra, Fabletics’ chief marketing officer since 2016.
“Driven by innovation, inspired by community and grounded in authenticity, Fabletics embodies what today’s consumers value most in brands,” commented Goldenberg. “Fabletics has succeeded beyond our expectations under Kate’s vision and our new team members, and I’m confident Fabletics will continue on its incredible growth trajectory.”
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