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Feb 25, 2021

Business Insider: Fabletics CEO Adam Goldenberg on Fabletics FIT App

How Fabletics launched an on-demand fitness app with a built-in audience of 2 million subscribers

by Bethany Biron| Feb 25th, 2021

Fabletics is leveling up with a new on-demand fitness app and membership program, joining the growing number of companies capitalizing on the at-home workout boom.

The athleticwear company debuted Fabletics Fit on Thursday, an app that features streaming workout classes including high-intensity interval training, pilates, and yoga, as well as guides for meditation and stretching. Monthly memberships are available at $14.95. However, current Fabletics VIP subscribers — who pay $49.95 a month for early access to new styles, exclusive discounts, and free shipping — will receive Fabletics Fit at no extra cost.

According to Adam Goldenberg, cofounder and CEO of Fabletics, the company will add new content each week with help from a network of fitness instructors and health experts across the Los Angeles area, where the company is based.

Goldenberg — who co-founded the company in July 2013 alongside Don Ressler and actress Kate Hudson — said the Fabletics Fit app was largely a response to feedback from consumers, who expressed a desire for more than just leggings from the brand. Though the timing of the launch conveniently coincides with the boom in at-home fitness offerings as a result of the pandemic, Goldenberg said the Fabletics Fit app had already been in the works beforehand.

“We started building this out well before the pandemic started, and then once the pandemic hit, it was very clear that working out at home and using digital apps to facilitate your workouts was going to be a big opportunity and something that our customers really want,” he added.

However, unlike the rising number of fledging virtual fitness platforms touting original content, Fabletics has the advantage of tapping into a captive audience of its more 2 million current VIP subscribers. Based on customer surveys, these members are already “very active,” Goldenberg said, with 81% working out at least twice a week, and nearly half working out more than four times a week.

During its soft launch in January, Goldenberg said members streamed more than 100,000 classes on Fabletics Fit, adding that the number of completed classes has been on the rise in February.

“The biggest piece here is we have a very large built-in audience that wants this content from us,” Goldenberg said. “Our customers are telling us if you built this app, they would want to use it.”

The Fabletics Fit app comes on the heels of a particularly successful year for the company, which has benefited from the athleisure and activewear boom during the pandemic. According to Goldenberg, Fabletics surpassed $500 million in sales in 2020, while also opening 11 new stores and launching its fast-growing men’s collection.

While Goldenberg declined to share a breakdown of sales between brick-and-mortar stores — which now total 50 locations across the US — and e-commerce, he said a “vast majority” of its business comes from online sales.

Still, physical expansion has been a top priority for Fabletics, despite having to temporarily close stores early in the pandemic. In 2019, same-store sales were up by 35% from the year prior, pointing to the opportunity in physical retail.

Fabletics is also eyeing growth in the form of retail partnerships with exercise equipment manufacturers. Taking a cue from competitors like Lululemon — which acquired the virtual fitness company Mirror last year, a move that quickly translated to sales growth — Fabletics partnered with Hydrow in October 2020 to begin selling its rowing machines at its retail locations. As part of the Fabletics Fit app, members will also receive access to Hydrow’s instructor-led rowing classes.

Overall, Goldenberg said the potential for brick-and-mortar sales growth is furthered by the company’s particularly diverse customer base. The brand’s core demographics include both college-aged women and female shoppers aged 35 to 45, spanning many racial ethnicities and hailing from urban, suburban, and rural communities.

“The brand is attracting a lot of different consumers, and part of that is we’re able to use data to make sure we have the right product assortment for everyone,” he said.

Goldenberg said Fabletics plans to focus on widening its male customer audience moving forward as well, after debuting its first menswear line in April 2020, a collection that ultimately brought in twice the amount of forecasted sales. More virtual member events are also on the docket, he said, with the anticipation of re-introducing in-store gatherings and workouts in the near future.

“We’re very excited just to be able to get back together with our customers in-person as this pandemic hopefully comes to an end towards the back half of this year,” he said.

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