Stitch Fix: Reinventing Retail Through Personalization | Above the Crowd | By Bill Gurley
Stitch Fix: Reinventing Retail Through Personalization
October 17, 2013: stitchfix_logo_cropped-gray_fullEarly this year Amie Fineberg, who has been my amazing assistant for over 10 years, mentioned that she and several other employees at Benchmark had fallen in love with a new ecommerce service, and that I might want to check it out. The company, which the founder cleverly named “Stitch Fix,” had a remarkably unique offering compared to other women’s fashion experiences. Customers are first asked to fill out an in depth profile to help identify their size, style, and preferences. Then, on the customer’s requested date, the company sends a personally styled offering (a Fix) of five items (previously unseen) to the individual to try on in her own home. You only keep and pay for what you like, and send back what you do not. Stitch Fix keeps track of what you keep, what you don’t, and why and integrates this your profile, growing smarter over time.
Having read the majority of Peter Lynch’s investment books, I knew not to ignore the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our team. It turns out that the majority of the women in our office were rabid fans of the service, and what’s more, so were many of their friends outside of Benchmark. Awareness of the service was clearly spreading virally through word of mouth. As I continued to learn more about the company, I found that Stitch Fix was commanding a greater share of its’ clients annual clothing budget. Lastly, I asked a few women that were not customers to try the service. Even those that started skeptically came back enthused. I immediately reached out to the founder and CEO, Katrina Lake, who had previously worked for another Benchmark portfolio company in the fashion space, Polyvore.