Stitch Fix Brings On First CMO in More Than Two Years

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Debbie Rose Voloshin formerly headed marketing for Marc Jacobs and Ann Taylor

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The upcoming executive brings a traditional fashion background to Stitch Fix, which operates in the US and UK. Ms. Voloshin previously served as chief marketing officer at luxury brands Marc Jacobs, Shoemaker Fry Company and Ann Inc., Ann Taylor’s parent company. , Loft and Lou and Grey.

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Rent comes at a challenging time for Stitch Fix, among other issues, whose revenue growth has slowed.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Shimon Siegel said the company is trying to transition from a startup that popularized the idea of ​​personalized, subscription-based fashion shipments to a more standard online retailer. Its new strategy will bring increased competition from both e-commerce rivals and traditional brick-and-mortar brands, which have spent more on digital sales operations in recent years.

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“What they are aiming to do is adapt to what other people have already done. Being special then becomes a big hurdle,” Mr. Siegel said.

Stitch Fix’s stock price has fallen more than 80% in the past year, while the S&P 500 is down nearly 6%. The stock had hit a high of around $100 in January 2021, in part to fuel the pandemic’s selling.

Chief Executive Elizabeth Spaulding told investors on March’s earnings call that the company expects revenue for the fiscal year ending July 30 to be flat or slightly below earlier expectations for 15% growth.

Revenue for fiscal year 2021 was $2.1 billion, up 23% over the previous year.

Mr Siegel said the company is also struggling to balance its reliance on data science – it uses consumer data and internal algorithms to recommend products and curate personalized shipments with a more human touch. .

Stitch Fix, which was founded in 2011, launched Freestyle in 2019 as an alternative to its subscription service, as part of an effort to expand its customer base. Freestyle helps customers with the help of artificial intelligence to essentially act as their own stylist and buy individual items from different brands, without any subscription or styling charges.

Chief Financial Officer Dan Jeddah said in an earnings call in December that the change would be a “multi-year effort.”

Ms Spaulding told investors in March that Freestyle has yet to deliver the expected sales growth, and that recent data-privacy changes from Apple Inc. have affected Stitch Fix’s ability to target potential customers with ads.

On the marketing front, Stitch Fix recently wooed male consumers with an April ad campaign starring comedian Keegan-Michael Key. The company launched a service for men just before it went public in 2017. Its men’s sales fell in the most recent quarter.

The company opted to reduce its spending last quarter, Ms Spaulding said on its March earnings call, but plans to invest more in areas such as affiliate and influencer marketing after completely changing its business model.

“We will be ready to increase the marketing spend once the customer gets the right experience,” he said.

Stitch Fix’s marketing budget has traditionally comprised about 10% of its net revenue, Jeddah told investors and analysts in March.

The company is scheduled to report quarterly earnings in June.

Write Patrick’s Coffee at Patrick’s [email protected]

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