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JustFab acquires Fab Shoes to conquer France and Spain

JustFab ramps up international expansion, adds 5M members in five months

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
May 23, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2fa1

Like a mighty conquistador (minus the historic cruelty and human rights abuses), JustFab is traversing the globe and carving out a larger stake for itself. One year after launching in Germany and the UK, JustFab is now taking its operations into France and Spain with the acquisition of The Fab Shoes, a subscription retail service for shoes that launched last year.

The Fab Shoes already has 500,000 members throughout France and Spain, and the acquisition gives JustFab an easy foot in the door.

“Acquiring Fab Shoes gave us a phenomenal team, a great country manager, and allows us to accelerate our growth in Europe,” said Adam Goldenberg, in an interview.

JustFab’s international strategy thus far has been to target the large western European markets. But why not go after some of the more promising emerging markets, like China, Brazil, and Russia, where economies are growing but competition remains fairly low?

“We made a decision during our Series B to start expanding into Western Europe because culturally it’s most comparable to the U.S. Styles cross over well and we can leverage our designs. And they have great infrastructure in place already. In emerging markets, you have to solve for payment types and how to get in the door,” said Goldenberg.

Goldenberg expects JustFab to be in most of the major Western European markets by the end of 2014. After that, Asia—particularly China and Japan—present huge opportunities, he said.

JustFab now has 15 million members worldwide, 13 million of which are in the U.S. To put that into context, JustFab, which launched in 2010, had 10 million members in January. That means that one third of JustFab’s members have joined the service just within the last five months.

Those are some mighty impressive growth stats, and Goldenberg says they’re almost entirely organic. Prior to its acquisition of Fab Shoes, JustFab had already garnered 1.5 million international members all on its own. And its acquisition of FabKids (all the fabs!) last January was more about gaining a foothold in the children’s category, but it’s still a relatively small-scale business.

Interestingly, JustFab has managed to do all this without much of a mobile strategy in place. While ShoeDazzle released its iPhone and Android apps back in 2011, JustFab has yet to release a native application of its own. At present, it has a mobile optimized website, which accounts for 30% of all JustFab sales, and Goldenberg says that by next year, mobile will likely account for 50% of all sales. Thus, JustFab plans to launch a native app next month.

While JustFab is spearheading the subscription commerce landgrab overseas, its domestic business is flourishing. The company hit its goal $100 million in revenue for 2012 and expects to do $250 million in revenue this year, reaching profitability by the end of 2013. Goldenberg expects that by next year, JustFab will be “very profitable.”

What’s particularly striking about JustFab’s success is that it wasn’t the first mover in the space, so how has it managed to stay ahead of the competition and cement itself as a subscription commerce leader?

“We’re very product focused,” said Goldenberg. “The most important thing to us is what’s in the box.”

JustFab has launched a number of new categories in the last year, including a denim category, a children’s category (with its FabKids acquisition), and it’s gearing up to launch a new category soon. Goldenberg says that adding new categories has been the key to strengthening its business, but not every category is right for JustFab.

“We’ve had categories that we haven’t launched. We’ve spent eight or nine months working on them and we’ve invested real dollars into them, but it just became clear that they weren’t going to work and we’ve scrapped them,” said Goldenberg.

So let’s say you’re satisfied with JustFab’s growth numbers, international expansion, and mobile strategy, but you want more details on the inner workings of the JustFab headquarters, complete with all the whispered office gossip and controversies, you can see it now on Style Network’s House of Fab, starring Kimora Lee Simmons, on Wednesdays at 9pm. 

 


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