The newest place to buy workout and “athleisure” clothes opens this week at SouthPark Mall, creating a trio of standalone retail options at the mall for those who like working out -- or looking like they do.
Fabletics, known to many as the “Kate Hudson brand” (Hudson is the company’s spokeswoman) is up against workout retail giants Lululemon and Athleta in the SouthPark corridors – and the industry in general -- but puts its emphasis on bold colors, lower price points and fast-moving inventory.
There’s a big business-model difference, too. Fabletics, owned by parent company JustFab, began as an internet- and catalog-based business and offers shoppers “VIP” memberships, which allows them to get discounts on purchases. If they opt in to the VIP membership, their credit cards are charged automatically for a certain amount each month (this money goes toward Fabletics purchases) unless they “skip” by the 5th of the new month.
Want a basic pair of black yoga pants? Fabletics has them, for $49.95. (Lululemon’s go for $98; Athleta’s for $64.)
But bright solids and patterns are clearly one of Fabletics’ selling points, along with styling details like sports bras with lots of crisscrossed back straps, paired with backless tops to show off those straps.
There’s a small offering of menswear in the store’s front, but women are clearly the focus here. And the emphasis is on entire outfits; mannequins abound to showcase pairings of bras, leggings, tops and jackets.
Store staff say they’ll be rearranging the store around the 20th of every month to showcase new merchandise; Fabletics rolls out entire new collections every month, executives say.
The store’s grand opening is slated for July 23.
Shawn Gold, JustFab’s corporate marketing officer, says the SouthPark location is the company’s eighth store. So far, he said, roughly half of store purchases are made by existing “VIP” members, 25 percent become members in stores, and 25 percent buy at retail price without a membership.