Stitch Fix turns to Venus Williams to help women conquer anxiety at the gym

Via Peters

Dive Brief:

  • Stitch Fix is capitalizing on women’s New Year’s fitness resolutions via a partnership with tennis star Venus Williams that aims to ease “the anxiety caused by working out in front of others — which women experience twice as often as men,” per a company press release.

  • As part of the campaign, dubbed “Goodbye Gymtimidation,” Williams will provide tips on how she overcomes this herself, the company said Wednesday. 

  • Stitch Fix has also forged a partnership with the Happier app, which includes “personalized habit-tracking tools and concrete, actionable steps to become happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative in the way that works for them.”

Dive Insight:

Some 67% of women experience qualms about returning to a fitness routine after a major life event like having a baby or dealing with the pandemic, and even more — 89% — “are more likely to stick to their fitness goals if they have workout clothes that make them feel confident,” according to Stitch Fix’s own research.

The retailer is addressing the first problem through its campaign with Williams, and the second with an assortment of active and athleisure items in sizes XXS to 3X from nearly 30 brands, including Adidas, Champion, Beyond Yoga, Nike, The North Face, Free People Movement, Sweaty Betty, Girlfriend Collective and Prana. The company has plans to offer Williams’ own brand, EleVen, in the spring, a spokesperson said by email.

“Playing tennis on a global stage doesn’t make me immune to anxieties,” Williams said in a statement. “In fact, I’d say it’s just the opposite.”

She teamed up with Stitch Fix in order to raise awareness of the issue and share the techniques she has developed to overcome the problem, she also said.

In its release on the collaboration, Stitch Fix touted its Fix apparel box service (where items are curated for customers with the help of algorithms plus human stylists, for a $20 per box styling fee), as well as its Freestyle e-commerce site. The campaign could be a test of Freestyle, especially once Stitch Fix sells Williams’ label, because shoppers aren’t able to search the site directly for specific items or brands. Instead, Freestyle surfaces items ostensibly tailored to a potential customer’s needs and wants, a level of personalization based on the results of a style quiz as well as on past purchases or returns.

So far, the relatively new Freestyle shopping option has shown mixed results for the company. In its most recent quarter, the site appeared to cannibalize the box service to a greater extent than executives had anticipated, for example

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include details about Stitch Fix’s plans to sell Venus Williams’ EleVen brand.

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