Fabletics must be looking to get a competitive edge.
Kate Hudson’s athleisure company plans on opening 75 to 100 stores over the next three to five years, Forbes reports.
As of now, Forbes notes the company has only six brick and mortar stores, and 40% of in-store sales come from shoppers who are ‘members’ of its subscription program. However, the majority of the company’s sales come from its website.
Fabletics is primarily an e-commerce retailer, and it has come under fire recently for its questionable practices for hooking customers.
Its ‘VIP Membership’ program is allegedly extremely difficult to cancel. At the time of a September BuzzFeed report, members could only cancel by phone. As a result, the company has amassed over 1200 complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
The company claims it has been transparent about its policies.
“From day one, we have been upfront about our flexible subscription model, the value it creates for our customers, and its terms of service,” a JustFab representative told BuzzFeed at the time. Cofounder and co-CEO Adam Goldenberg told BuzzFeed that these complaints made up “a very, very small minority” of customers.
Separately, JustFab informed Business Insider that it is committed to focusing on the customer by “[striving] to provide exceptional customer service” with short wait times on customer service calls. The company noted that in April, it would have customer service representatives available to consumers 24 hours a day.
The stores appear to be another vehicle to gain more members, Forbes reports.
“We want to completely mirror the stores to the online experience,” Goldenberg told Forbes.
But a big draw for consumers might be the chance to get cheap athletic apparel without having to commit to a membership.
Fabletics has been undergoing something of a makeover since the complaints made waves this fall, and these stores might be the next step to repairing its image with unsure consumers.
In October, the company said it planned to undergo an audit, and that it was considering changing some of its policies.
Goldenberg told Forbes that Fabletics now receives approximately five to ten complaints a month.
The retailer has also shifted its marketing schemes. It pointedly mocked competitor Lululemon’s high price tags and see-through pants debacle in a series of YouTube videos.
Forbes notes that the next Fabletics store will open at the Mall of America in Minnesota, and that we’ll likely be seeing new stores near Lululemon and Athleta units.
“We do very, very well when we’re located near a Lululemon or Athleta,” Goldenberg said to Forbes.
Arguably, it could be because Fabletics serves as a cheaper alternative to its competitors – given its recent troubles, that might be its biggest advantage.