The world of retail has been absolutely rocked by the coronavirus pandemic. Stores closed across the country, and at the same time, online sales went through the roof. Direct-to-consumer brands, many of which are masters of both online and brick-and-mortar channels, experienced unprecedented change in a matter of weeks and months.
To unpack all of this and much more, we’ll be joined by Fabletics co-CEO Don Ressler and actor Kevin Hart, who partnered on Fabletics men’s line this year, at Disrupt 2020 this September 14-18.
Fabletics was founded back in 2013 and has taken a truly tech-first approach to D2C activewear, particularly when it comes to in-store sales. The company used heat maps in store to better understand foot traffic and interest in products, and even had iPads stationed in each dressing room to let users browse while they try on, or call an associate over for help.
The company, co-founded by Kate Hudson, has an interesting marketing advantage over some of its competition in the form of the co-founder herself, who posts Fabletics products on social media on a regular basis.
The athleisure space is incredibly hot, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus, which has encouraged people to put their dress clothes in the back of the closet and get cozy at home.
Ressler has a long history in the e-commerce space, selling his business FitnessHeaven.com to Myspace parent company Intermix Media in 1997. He stayed on at Intermix through its sale to News Corp. for more than $670 million. He also co-founded Alena Media and skincare brand Hydroderm, which have collectively raised more than $100 million and generated more than $1 billion in sales.
Kevin Hart, who you
may definitely recognize from “Jumanji,” “The Upside,” and dozens of stand-up specials, led the launch of Fabletics Males, the menswear line from the company. He said that most men’s activewear lines try to intimidate their customers into overpaying for tech they don’t want, and that Fabletics Males takes a different approach.
Alongside his work with Fabletics, Hart has also dabbled in tech investment, writing checks for Hungry (connecting independent chefs with customers for catering) and Run The World (a virtual events startup).
We’ll talk to Ressler and Hart about the upheaval across the D2C space in the wake of the pandemic, how the company thinks about competition and what’s next for Fabletics. We’ll also chat with Hart about the tech trends he’s most interested in and his general investment thesis.