Groupon Goods debuts private-label clothing line for fitness fans
Groupon introduced a private label activewear line for women Thursday as it seeks to cash in on fitness trends and bulk up its shopping business.
Form+Focus, the sixth such line from the Chicago-based e-commerce marketplace, offers workout shirts, leggings and shorts as well as sports bras. Items available on the site Thursday ranged from $11.99 to $22.99. They are available exclusively through Groupon Goods, the company's shopping vertical.
Athleisure — as workout clothing often worn in everyday life is known — is a popular and growing segment worth $44 billion in the U.S. alone, according to research firm NPD's Consumer Tracking Service. Bloomberg reports that the activewear industry is changing, with selling prices dropping 9 percent in early 2016 compared to the year prior as budget retailers make a run against early leaders such as the pricey Lululemon.
Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN) is working to improve margins in its shopping business by moving away from low-margin "empty calories," one of the top goals of CEO Rich Williams ⇒, who took on the role in November 2015.
The National Retail Federation recently named Groupon Goods to its Hot100 2016 list at No. 29, noting sales growth of 17 percent from 2014 to 2015.
In the second quarter, Goods brought in about 60 percent of the company's revenue, and it made more than 2 percent more off of those sales than in the second quarter of 2015.
The company introduced its first private label lines — Wexley for home, Franklin and Fox for pets and Sociology for women's apparel and accessories — in the second quarter of 2015, a Groupon spokesman said. It added Oak and Rush, for men's apparel and accessories, last fall.
Groupon has sold "hundreds of thousands of units" from its private label brands since spring 2015, he said. It sold 35,000 pencil skirts and dresses, 50,000 comforters, 50,000 sheet sets and 43,000 hydration packs, he said.
More than 70 percent of Groupon's customers are women, and the company has a "very successful fitness-related deals business," which includes yoga classes, gym memberships and fitness trackers, the spokesman said.
The company is enjoying a bump in its stock following a strong earnings report last week, which led to shares rising above $5 for the first time in months. Shares traded up at about $5.41 Thursday afternoon.