Stitch Fix Inc. is using a new approach to get closer to its customers — adding innerwear to its offering and giving users more direct control over what comes with their “fix.”
The online styling service, which sends users five items to try on at home, will on Thursday start offering Stitch Fix Extras, a tightly curated assortment of camisoles, shapewear, underwear, tights, bralettes, bras and socks.
But while the San Francisco-based company usually mixes AI-savvy and human stylists to pick looks for users, with Extras, customers will be able to choose exactly which intimate styles they want to add to their box.
Like everything Stitch Fix sends, items ordered through Extras can be returned through the postal service. Extras includes names such as Hanky Panky and Free People as well as a new house brand, Everyday by Stitch Fix.
Intimates marks the first addition to Stitch Fix’s offering since the company went public in November — setting it on a roller coaster that started at $15 a share and went as high as $30.07, only to fall back down. The stock closed down 3.8 percent to $19.18 on Wednesday.
Investors are still trying to get a handle on Stitch Fix, which is expanding quickly on the top line, but still has lots of growing to do. The firm’s fiscal first-quarter sales rose 25.2 percent to $295.6 million but earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to $11.8 million from $28 million as it invested in talent and marketing.
Investors will be watching closely as the company ventures into intimates and tweaks its business model on the fringes, ever so slightly inching the styling service toward a more traditional order and deliver e-commerce model. If it can successfully bolt on the category, similar additions could be in the offing.
Lisa Bougie, general manager of Stitch Fix women’s, said Extra marks, not a departure, but a continuation of the personalized and innovative impulse that has driven the company.
“It’s a very simple value proposition in terms of client experience,” Bougie said. “Once a client adds Extras to her fix, they will arrive with the five items [delivered to their door]. The introduction of Extras is really in response to our dedication to serving all of our clients’ wardrobe needs. We’ve always been about transforming how people shop and Extras is another way of doing that.
“Part of our high-level reason for being is that we believe what our clients wear matters,” she said. “It matters because what you choose to put on your body every day ultimately sets the tone for the day and can ultimately create confidence. Intimates are the foundation of a women’s wardrobe.”
And with every new category, Stitch Fix learns a little more about what its 2.4 million customers want and builds on its own foundation.
That’s clearly part of the thinking behind Everyday by Stitch Fix, which the company will continue to customize. Stitch Fix’s own intimates will not be designed with the help of artificial intelligence, which it uses in other private label categories, but Bougie said, “we look forward to doing that.”