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Fabletics to push forward with global expansion

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


Business |IN DEPTH

Women’s activewear brand, Fabletics, co-founded by actress Kate Hudson, has announced that it is looking to “propel” the brand forward, with global expansion plans, new retail stores, and enhanced collections as it celebrates its fifth anniversary.

Founded in 2013 by Hudson along with TechStyle Fashion Group’s Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler, Fabletics has surpassed 300 million dollars in annual revenue, and in the first six months it shopped more than 1 million orders to make it one of the fastest growing fashion brands. The subscription-based model, offers more than 1.4 million VIP members, a personalised shopping experience to buy affordable fashion-forward activewear, ranging from training gear to lifestyle dresses, as well as celebrity-designed collections from Demi Lovato.

Its success isn’t limited to just the United States, Fabletics is sold in 10 countries, including the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands, and an “aggressive” global expansion plan is high on its strategic growth initiatives. The European market is a particular focus for the activewear label as its revenue have been experiencing 25 percent year-on-year revenue growth.

Along with plans to expand in Europe, this autumn will mark Fabletics’ first international distribution partnership that will introduce the brand to the Philippines through free-standing stores, shop-in-shop concepts and an online shopping destination. This partnership agreement kicks off a series of other international partnerships as well as company-owned expansion plans, that will see the sportswear label launching in new territories throughout 2018 and 2019.

“I am incredibly proud and humbled by how far we’ve come as a brand,” said Kate Hudson, co-founder, Fabletics in a statement. “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.”

Hudson added: “The success we’ve achieved is a testament to the amazing team we have in place and our members, who inspire us every single day. I’m excited to take Fabletics to the next level as we set in motion our vision to double revenue through exciting new initiatives.”

Kate Hudson’s sportswear label Fabletics planning 100 stores in the US

Fabletics is also looking to build upon its brick-and-mortar footprint in the US to create what it is calling a “truly unique and powerful omni-channel experience”. It currently has 24 retail locations across the US, which it states have continued to see more than 20 percent increase in same-store sales year-over-year sales.

It will strength its retail presence by adding more than 75 new stores, taking the brand to a total of 100 locations across the US. These new stores will be enhanced with a new store concept, which will be unveiled this September with the opening in Bellevue, Washington.

The success of its retail presence has been aided by the integration between its online and retail stores, powered by the company’s proprietary OmniSuite POS technology, states the sportswear label. The software enables Fabletic members to seamlessly shop and transact across both online and in store experiences, which the brand states has bolstered business performance and enhanced brand loyalty. It also enables members to use all of their membership perks in stores and allows other guests to either sign up to become members or opt to shop standard retail.

The company’s research also reveals that half of all of its retail customers are already members, in addition, of those 1.4 VIP members, 25 percent joined as a referral from a friend, showing that members are highly engaged with the brand, something it wishes to build upon with its retail store experience.

”Driven by innovation, inspired by community and grounded in authenticity, Fabletics embodies what today’s consumers value most in brands.”

Adam Goldenberg, TechStyle Fashion Group co-chief executive officer

To enhance its members experience, Fabletics is also set to debut a brand evolution that will result in increased collection frequency with new capsules dropping as often as once a week, as well as enhanced products across all categories. There will be a focus on the use of advanced performance technologies optimised for different activities, in addition to fashion-forward designs that expand on the bright colours and fun patterns Fabletics is known for.

The new collections will begin to drop from July and builds on its collaborations with singer and actress Demi Lovato, its expansion into footwear last year and the addition of plus sizes, with products ranging from XXS to 3XL as part of its mission to foster an “inclusive community of women who embrace body positivity”.

Fabletics strengths leadership team

To help guide the company in this next phase of growth, Fabletics has announced a number of new additions to its leadership team, including the appointment of former vice president of women’s design at Lululemon Athletica, Karen Pornillos as the brand’s vice president of design and fashion director.

Pornillos will be working alongside former Lululemon Athletica colleague Felix del Toro, who was appointed senior vice president, chief merchandise and design officer of Fabletics in 2017 following management roles at Gap, and Ann Inc.

They will be joined by Shefali Shah, the new vice president of merchandising, who comes to Fabletics after over 10 years at Victoria’s Secret.

The activewear label also named Nancy Arnold as vice president, creative director, to help shape the Fabletics brand. Arnold establishing her career across a mix of emerging disruptors and admired brands such as Chloe and Isabel, Victoria’s Secret and Ann Taylor, she will report directly to chief marketing officer Kristen Dykstra, who joined the label in 2016.

“Driven by innovation, inspired by community and grounded in authenticity, Fabletics embodies what today’s consumers value most in brands,” said Adam Goldenberg, TechStyle Fashion Group co-chief executive officer and co-founder. “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.”

Images: courtesy of Fabletics

Kate Hudson
TechStyle Fashion Group
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