Cabi Finds A Lifeline With Cabi Front Row Platform
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit every business that relies on in-person events, but direct-to-consumer retailer Cabi found that it was in a good position to react to that reality.
The Carson, Calif.–headquartered retailer sells the Cabi designer collection and had been developing Cabi Front Row, a proprietary platform where the company’s stylists can show the brand’s contemporary styles on a Zoom-like call. The retailer started beta testing Cabi Front Row last September, said Katie Malone, president and chief marketing officer for Cabi. The company was planning to slowly roll it out in 2020.
“It was uncanny that we had this,” Malone said. “We accelerated access to Cabi Front Row, and in a matter of weeks we were ready to shift immediately to serving clients through a virtual, personal styling experience.”
The virtual sales experiences gave a lifeline to a company founded on producing in-person events. Cabi reported that sales in August were nearly breaking even compared to many businesses that were reporting cratering sales.
The Cabi Front Row platform features a virtual event where a group of women attending the event watch runway video of Cabi styles. If they like a specific style, they can put it in a virtual dressing room and purchase it later.
Since 2002, Cabi has built a business based on its stylists and independent contractors, who are encouraged to produce shopping events and experiences. Malone said that the company’s point of difference is its service. The stylists provide a service where they guide customers on choosing the best styles for their looks and body types, Malone said. Currently, the company works with 3,000 stylists in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Malone forecasted that Cabi stylists will return to focusing on in-person events in the future. But she also forecasted that Cabi Front Row would continue to be a part of the stylists’ toolbox, Malone said.