The world of retail has changed dramatically over the last decade. Malls, often considered one of the staples of American life, seem to be less popular than they once were with teenagers choosing to spend much of their free time elsewhere and adult shoppers opting for the convenience of buying items online. As stores like Macy’s, Gap and J.C. Penny’s announce store closures at malls around the country the ecommerce giant Amazon is announcing strategic moves like its recent purchase of the healthy grocery store chain Whole Foods. According to CNN Money the department store J.C. Penny’s will likely post another loss this quarter while shares for Macy’s and Kohl’s have lost almost one-fifth of their overall value. Meanwhile Amazon is reportedly worth almost twice as much as the well-known American retailer Walmart.
In the world of ecommerce Amazon is arguably the market leader that everyone wants to beat. And an ecommerce company that was co-founded by a Golden Globe winner and her partners is possibly on track to do just that according to Forbes. Fabletics, an athleisure company founded by Kate Hudson, Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg, creates fashionable workout clothes that are versatile enough for its female customers to wear to the office for a long day of back-to-back meetings and then to a hot yoga session after work. Fabletics’ products are set apart because of their high quality designs and materials that are offered to customers at affordable price points. Even though Amazon dominates nearly 20 percent of the online fashion retail market and often seems to subsume the sales of brick-and-mortar companies Fabletics is taking them on through reverse showrooming.
Unlike most other fashion retailers Fabletics offers its customers monthly subscriptions where they can get discounted prices on the company’s clothing. The brand also started out as a digitally native company that built and acquired many of its customers online and then later expanded into the world of brick-and-mortar stores. What this means is that many the customers who visit Fabletics’ stores in-person are already subscribers who are likely to coming to the store not to comparison shop but to get a feel for what a Fabletics’ item looks like before they purchase it. According to Forbes whether that particular customer makes the purchase online or in the store does not matter because Fabletics closes the final sale either way. This attitude is very different from retailers who started out in physical storefronts and then had to branch out to the internet later and seem to view their own online ecommerce operations as being in competition with their physical locations.