Kate Hudson’s athleisure brand Fabletics has expanded from an Internet-only brand to 34 stores nationwide
Fabletics, the fast-growing athletic clothing brand created by celebrity actress Kate Hudson, has opened its first San Diego location at Fashion Valley mall.
The 1,745 square-foot store is loaded with technology, bringing some of the sophistication of online commerce to brick-and-mortar retail. The store opened its doors last weekend and is hosting a special VIP event Thursday for select members.
The athleisure company started as an online retailer in 2013, best known for its subscription model in which users can get workout clothes regularly shipped to their door. But Fabletics started opening brick-and-mortar stores last year, expanding from e-commerce to the physical realm. But the company’s digital roots are apparent in its new San Diego location, where technology is embedded in the shopping experience.
When guests visit the store, they can expect to be greeted by an associate who will check their membership status. If a shopper isn’t a member, they’re encouraged to create a free profile at a kiosk in the store. Creating an account allows the shopper to take advantage of the store’s tech perks, like tracking what clothes you try on and getting personalized outfit suggestions based on previous purchases.
When a shopper visits the dressing room, a large iPad outside the door will bear their name. Inside the fitting room, another tablet is available for requesting different sizes or pieces. The iPad will also have suggestions on how to style the clothes you’re trying on and personalized offers, among other features.
Fabletics calls its software OmniShop, which connects in-store sales to the company’s online operations. Adam Goldenberg, the co-founder and co-CEO of Fabletics’ parent company TechStyle, told TechCrunch earlier this year that the company invested more than $150 million in OmniShop. Obviously this isn’t just to spruce up the customer experience, but to provide the company with data that will inform its operations.
The software can create clarity for Fabletics on what styles are working or failing to win over customers. For example, the system allows Fabletics to see when a product isn’t converting well and investigate if there is a fit, sizing or style issue.
“Because different products are being scanned at the SKU level in the fitting rooms, they can track in real-time what’s converting and get an early read if there’s a problem in design,” said Alexis Blais, a spokeswoman for Fabletics.
For example, Blais said the company recently looked at the data and learned a popular legging was not selling its XS size, while other sizes were selling well.
“When they investigated it, they found there was a defect in the product and pulled them from the shelves and online,” Blais said.
The San Diego location is one of 12 new retail stores Fabletics will open in 2019, with a total of 34 stores currently open nationwide.
The Fabletics store is located on the upper level of the mall and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
“I’m excited to continue to expand our retail footprint and bring our new store concept to San Diego,” said Hudson, Fabletics co-founder, in a statement. “Fabletics is a brand for all women and our mission from the very beginning was about so much more than just creating cute activewear. We wanted to build an inclusive community that inspired women to live an active lifestyle — and I am thrilled to bring that to the amazing women in San Diego!”