Fabletics, the popular activewear brand co-founded by Kate Hudson in 2013, is making a major push from subscription-based e-commerce to brick-and-mortar retail. The company is in a period of rapid expansion; currently operating 18 retail locations, Fabletics plans to open 75 to 100 new locations over the next few years.
“Our growth has been very fast and it’s been hard to keep up with it” – Alexandra Lambros, Fabletics Manager of Brand Visuals
Achieving a seamless online-to-in-store experience for customers depends upon strong merchandising execution. As more and more new Fabletics locations are being opened around the United States, getting visibility into each from HQ and communicating about validation tasks has been a challenge.
“We started out with 6 stores and now today we’re up to number 18,” says Alexandra Lambros, Fabletics’ Manager of Retail Brand Visuals and Merchandising, “So our growth has been very fast and it’s been hard to keep up with it. In the past, we did our merchandising validation through email, which was extremely time-consuming. A lot of the time we were doing follow-ups with photographs through emails, and the struggle with that was really just keeping track as we grow.”
Photo sharing apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp have exploded in popularity in recent years for personal use, and companies are now cluing into how they can adopt similar tech to modernize how they communicate internally. Instead of email, Fabletics is now using Foko Retail to collect and share photos of in-store merchandising and give feedback on displays.
“Foko Retail is a great way for our team to express everything they’re doing in-store, and share it with everyone over here at head office as well” – Alexandra Lambros, Fabletics Manager of Brand Visuals
“Using an app is so much more engaging than email. I also think it’s been a good way for everyone to learn from each other,” says Lambros. “It actually eliminated a lot of other email conversations that used to happen, because stores are seeing each other doing certain things and they’re answering questions for themselves.”
Using Foko to communicate between HQ and stores has helped dramatically streamline the merchandising validation process, and Lambros estimates that she is saving one full day per week on merchandising validation tasks.
“Instead of filtering through emails threads with stores and trying to click through attachments, the impact has been really just having one place for everything. All our stores’ information and photos are in one place now. It’s a much easier way to keep track of everything and has made our merchandising process so much easier.”
Best practice sharing has been another advantage of using the app. “We have a lot of people on our team who love merchandising and want to talk about it. Foko is a great way for them to express everything that they’re doing in-store, and to share it with everyone over here at head office as well.”