Q&A: Figs' transition from e-commerce to its first retail location

Zachary Russell
Digital Editor
Zach Russell headshot

November was a landmark month for the direct-to-consumer health care apparel company Figs. The brand opened its first-ever retail store at Century City Mall in Los Angeles, and shared plans for a second, much larger location in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square neighborhood next year.

Based in Los Angeles, Figs was founded in 2013 with the mission of offering health care professionals an alternative of stylish, comfortable scrubs to traditional workwear. Eight years later, the company went public. In 2022, Figs generated more than $500 million in net revenues, almost exclusively online.

After years of online success, the brand has now entered the retail space. To learn more about Figs’ brick-and-mortar strategy and future expansion goals, Chain Store Age spoke with company CEO and co-founder Trina Spear.

(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

What led to this decision to enter the brick and mortar space? 

Having an online experience is super important, but also so is having an in-store experience that really feels good, where you can try on the product and experience it and also connect with others. Events and programming, which we're going to have at our stores, is really important. 

Figs Century City Mall
Figs Century City Mall

This [expanding into brick-and-mortar] was always a part of what we wanted to do. For a brand of our size, we probably should have done it about three years ago, but the pandemic pushed back that plan.

For the first retail store at Century City Mall, was there something about this specific location that was appealing? 

Century City Mall is within a few mile radius of major healthcare institutions, so that was the first thing. Second, it's a high-traffic location. Malls are changing and becoming more of an experience.

Century City and Westfield have done a good job at this, really creating that outdoor feel where you're not just shopping. You're able to go to great restaurants, go to the movies, be outside in a beautiful environment and experience different brands in a beautiful setting. 

Century City was a natural place for us, and it puts us next to huge hospital groups. Century City is kind of the best of all worlds: close to our community, close to healthcare institutions and a great place to experience and learn about brands. 

In terms of store sizes in the future, is there a range where you feel works best for Figs? Is there an opportunity for bigger stores or smaller stores?

We’re learning that our Century City is a little on the small side [1,125 square feet]. We balanced the size of the store with our location within the mall. We’re upstairs from Gelson’s and right next to One Medical. It’s a great spot on the first floor, but I do think it’s a bit on the smaller end.

Figs Century City Mall
Figs Century City Mall

But we’re learning a lot. It’s our first store, so we really wanted to test it and ensure that we were getting all the elements correct.

Our store in Philadelphia is bigger. It’s 4,000 square feet with two floors. We're going to be utilizing the second floor as more of that community space where we can have different events and programming [such as meditation, yoga and speaker series].

There will probably be stores in the future that are between 1,000 and 4,000 square feet, and maybe some that are even bigger. There also will be different formats and different types of community hubs, meaning that the method in which we connect will be different based on the location, the space and the city.

We’re taking the learnings from our first store, and will do the same from our second, to keep building and growing and scaling going forward. We’re very excited.

How do you plan to balance growing your brick-and-mortar footprint with maintaining the e-commerce operation that led to Figs’ success? 

I think they fuel each other. Stores or community hubs are really a great way to bring more brand awareness. A lot of people don’t know about Figs, and that’s why we only have about a 5% market share in the U.S. and less than 1% internationally. So this is a huge opportunity to continue to grow the brand.

There have been a number of different studies around how much more consumers spend when they shop both online and offline. There’s been so much work done around how having both e-commerce and stores drive loyalty, average order value and repeat frequency. It’s a really exciting opportunity and there’s a ton of synergies between the two.

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