Fabletics is branching out of the athleisure apparel business to offer its customers fitness training as well as merchandise, including online workout routines taught by popular instructors.
The company launched almost four years ago with co-founder Kate Hudson at the helm, offering discounted but stylish workout clothing that competed with top-name brands like Lululemon. Fabletics began as an online-only business but has grown since its launch, opening 18 brick and mortar stores in the last year according to website TechCrunch.
Fabletics has had a rocky time despite its growth, including some bad press surrounding its subscription-based model. In September of 2015, Buzzfeed reported on how Fabletics' parent company Just Fab fielded thousands of customer complaints for billing unknowing customers on a monthly cycle. Most of the customers who bought one or two items had no idea they signed up for a subscription, and couldn’t find information from the company explaining how to cancel.
Despite the image challenges the company faced initially, Fabletics has managed to grow and become hugely popular. In order to attract new customers and retain the ones they have fought to keep, Fabletics is now offering a VIP membership, which includes access to online workout routines from famous trainers and fitness gurus.
Instructors from top studios such as Physique 57, Body by Simone and The Fitting Room are part of Fabletics’ VIP perks. Each month, one of the instructors will record weekly workout videos (similar to DailyBurn) which VIP members can access for free, so long as they make one purchase from the Fabletics website and they return each month to browse.
It’s a good move for Fabletics. Part of the appeal of the brand is offering contemporary workout attire without breaking the bank. And while people pay top dollar to take classes from fitness gurus, the same instructors are now accessible online to everyone, even those who can’t necessarily afford the classes or don’t live in a city where the instructors teach.
It’s clear the company is branding itself as a healthy lifestyle destination by including experiences as well as clothing, with the assumption that many customers will keep coming back to the site. In addition to online classes, Fabletics is offering discounts on wellness retreats, massages, and even designer juice brands.
The company has a following of over one million members, and VIP members can shop for up to 50% off of retail prices or skip the month free of charge, with free shipping, returns and exchanges. Fabletics releases new, limited-edition collections each month.
“So much is shifting online and we felt like this was an important and great first step to make living fit something that was easy and accessible for our community,” Fabletics CMO Kristen Dykstra told TechCrunch.
For more information on this clothing company, please read our Fabletics review.