Kate Hudson’s fame grows into an activewear chain
Fabletics, the online activewear brand built initially on the fame of actress and co-founder Kate Hudson, is seeking to become a major brick and mortar force, as well. According to reports, Fabletics, which will launch its seventh store this spring in the Mall of America, is looking to open up to 100 stores over the next three to five years.
According to Forbes, Fabletics generated $150 million in revenues last year, the vast majority through its site. The company has used Ms. Hudson’s celebrity along with fashionable designs, low prices and a subscription program to propel its sales.
With its planned expansion into stores, Fabletics will move even more directly into competition with Athleta, Lululemon and others such as Kit and Ace (the newest venture of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson).
While Fabletics’ rise has gone pretty much according to script, the company has not been without controversy. Subscribers are given the option of purchasing a given item every month. It is up to members, however, to notify Fabletics if they do not want the item. Should they fail to notify the company within five days, they are charged for the purchase. Subscribers being charged for items they didn’t want has led to numerous complaints made to the Better Business Bureau over the years.
The parent company of Fabletics, JustFab, has said that it has made changes to reduce the number of complaints it receives.
“For us, five to 10 complaints is five to 10 too many, but in a typical month we’re sending out 800,000 items,” Adam Goldenberg, co-founder and co-CEO of JustFab, told Forbes. “Largely speaking, customers really like this program.”
- Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s Controversial Athleisure Brand, Plans To Open 100 Stores – Forbes
- Kate Hudson’s Controversial Fabletics Brand Expanding To Open 100 Retail Stores – INQUISITR
- JustFab Finds Managing Fashion Inventories Is Both Science and Art – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- The Dark, Scammy History of JustFab and Fabletics – BuzzFeed
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What advice do you have for Fabletics as it seeks to migrate its online experience into physical stores? How would you recommend store associates go about selling Fabletics subscriptions to customers in stores in light of controversies surrounding the service?