When you think of celebrity fashion labels you tend to think of lines that really make an impact just because the celebs at the helm are so very very famous. Think Victoria Beckham (hard to avoid at the moment given her OBE and the storm of faux outrage in the press about the news leaking a couple of days early).
Or think Kanye West’s Yeezy. Again, hard to ignore given how much of headline-grabber he is. Then there’s Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kate Moss, Gigi Hadid, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, plus many more.
And try not to forget those all too forgettable signature celeb ranges that fall more into the churn-it-out-before-the-bubble-bursts league – tat, of course, but they do sell for a while.
Yet one of the more successful celeb fashion lines around is actually one that’s a bit less fashiony than all of these, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics.
Ok, the combination of Kate Hudson and athleisure isn’t exactly under the radar, but it does grab fewer tabloid headlines than some of those other collections. Yet it’s one label that’s appears to be building a truly sustainable business.
The activewear company yesterday reported “exceptional 2016 performance results” and said it’s “one of the fastest growing brands in the athleisure market.” Hype? Perhaps not. It said it grew almost 50% this year, and over 200% in the previous two years.
It achieved that by using a membership model that has now passed the 1m member mark, which is good approach for a brand built around fitness to use. And Fabletics said it has strengthened member loyalty this year and that this has resulted in “significant growth in repeat shopping behaviour.”
Repeat purchases currently account for over 75% of the brand’s annual revenue. And that’s a magic figure. New customers are important but they’re more expensive to attract than existing customers and healthy repeat purchase is the holy grail for any business.
The company also said that this year has seen a 300% increase in new stores with retail growth of 644% and it achieved that latter figure by targeting markets with a large concentration of members, “leading to increased sales among brand loyalists.”
Same-store sales rose 21% in Q4 alone and the company said the new stores it opened also widened the brand’s awareness across the US, resulting in a rise in new memberships near retail locations.
So it looks like Fabletics isn’t going to be one of those here today, gone tomorrow brands. As long as it can keep building the business sensibly, and as long as athleisure doesn’t fade as fast as some trends, it looks like Kate Hudson’s Fabletics could have a shelf life at least as long as her mum Goldie Hawn’s career…