Digital Age consumers defy the American fashion industry’s traditional knowledge of buyers. Brands are grappling with the consumer behavior of our time. Amazon seems to know what resonates well with modern consumers as the e-commerce giant currently controls over 20 percent of the fashion e-commerce industry. In fact, Amazon’s dominance scares off enterprises that are eyeing the fashion industry but not Fabletics. The 5-year-old activewear brand promoting the athleisure culture is going head-to-head with Amazon and other e-commerce giants, and it is fairing on well.
Fabletics had the choice to entirely sell its merchandise through an intuitive e-commerce site like many retailers are doing, but the brand chose to support its e-commerce activities with physical stores. Presently, Fabletics has over 16 physical outlets across America. Other retailers are shying away from physical stores claiming that consumers visit them just to see what is trending in the fashion industry but few buy from them. The majority leave to search for cheaper alternatives elsewhere. But Fabletics is embracing physical stores as the brand uses a subscription mechanic and the stores allow for the wooing of more members. Over 25 percent of those who step foot in any Fabletics’ stores sign up as members
Membership is the backbone of Fabletics’ physical stores. The brand stocks its stores based on membership preference for local members. Other factors that determine the merchandise that is kept at the stores include social media sentiment, store heat-mapping data, and real-time sales activity. Serendipity of shopping is a factor considered by Fabletics but to a smaller degree, explains Dustin Netral, SVP Operations for Fabletics. Gregg Throgmartin, General Manager, Fabletics believes that it is through membership that Fabletics can offer customized services and on-trend fashion at a lower price than its competitors.
Fabletics promotes a culture that is gaining popularity with Americans. A majority of Americans especially millennials are health and socially conscious. Fabletics is promoting an active lifestyle that inspires good health. Kate Hudson, one of the co-founders of the brand leads an active lifestyle, and as the face of Fabletics, Kate encourages consumers to try out Fabletics’ activewear gear.
Fabletics is attempting to set a new definition for the term “a high-value brand” that for many years was associated with high-quality products and a steep price. Historically consumers preferred high-value brands, but modern consumers value other things including last-mile service, customer experience, brand recognition, exclusive design, and gamification.