Subscription box company FabFitFun is ready for retail.
On June 29, the beauty, wellness and fashion brand partnered with QVC to sell its quarterly subscription boxes. Though the FabFitFun boxes were curated for QVC’s older demographic and skew beauty-specific, they mimic the brand’s offering on FabFitFun.com and also feature 10 items (nine of the 10 brands selected are new to QVC’s merchandising assortment, except for hair-care company Living Proof). The boxes retail for $49.99.
Prior to this, FabFitFun and QVC’s only interaction was via the former’s private-label cosmetics brand ISH, which first began selling on QVC in September 2018. The larger move into QVC follows FabFitFun’s expansion into international markets — it launched in the U.K. in May. In 2018, FabFitFun reported a 100% year-over-year revenue increase and was said to hit $200 million in revenue.
“There are similar qualities between what we do and what QVC does,” said Katie Rosen Kitchens, FabFitFun co-founder and editor-in-chief. “Our storytelling DNA is their DNA, and we both have a culture of bringing up-and-coming brands to life. We see this as a starting point to reach more and more customers and give them access to the FabFitFun lifestyle.” While FabFitFun has over 1 million subscribers, QVC has more than 14 million worldwide.
Rob Robillard, vp of integrated beauty at QVC and HSN, added, “Our customer is always looking for discovery and some of these subscription boxes are the best way to satisfy that. We’ve never done this before and feel like this is a way to bring more excitement to our customers.” Though Robillard would not disclose how many units that QVC bought of the FabFitFun boxes, QVC reported it sold out of all inventory this past weekend.
Many of the other subscription box mainstays, like Ipsy, have yet to sell their boxes via wholesale. Birchbox, for its part, partnered with Walgreens on shop-in-shops late last year. There, customers can build their own Birchboxes in stores and shop from its curated merchandising assortment in six Walgreens locations (six more are slated for this summer), but replicas of Birchbox monthly boxes are not sold in stores.
FabFitFun is not intending to upend its e-commerce strategy and rely on third-party relationships, like QVC fully though, but more selling opportunities are expected. Customers, who buy the boxes on QVC, will receive a gift with purchase — an ISH lip kit, which includes its best-selling lip gloss and lip liner — and once shoppers sign up for FabFitFun on its e-commerce site, they will receive another bonus, a rose gold clutch, and $10 off the brand’s quarterly subscription. Quip and Target engaged in a similar wholesale strategy in October 2018.
Rosen Kitchens explained while the first QVC box was designed for the larger QVC target demographic, the idea is to drive to its site — once customers sign up on FabFitFun.com, shoppers’ boxes will become more customized based on personal preferences and subscribers will have access to the company’s TV streaming service, online magazine and offline events.
“We are giving customers the why to buy because we had to find a way to give both of our consumers something new,” said Robillard. “It’s different for both of us, but a way of testing and trying not only the FabFitFun box but all the brands they feature.”