The Elevator Pitch … Fitted started off as a turnkey e-com solution providing automated product catalogs and first-ever endless aisle from the top brand partners. Between its more than 150 national retailers and 85-plus global brand partners, Fitted is the first-ever peer-to-peer-to-brand (P2P2B) solution that brings all running brands and retailers into a single ecosystem, allowing them to work together and meet consumers wherever they are based on whatever they are looking for. 

How It Developed … “Being retailers ourselves, we spent countless hours and resources building and maintaining product catalogs and we realized that all retailers were doing the same work,” explains co-founder and CEO Monte Keleher. “On top of that, we could only sell what we had in our brick-and-mortar stores and problems would arise when e-com sales would take valuable in-store stock, especially going into a busy weekend.” Fitted’s aim is to ultimately predict where consumers will be and give the resources to its retailers to meet them before the consumers arrive. “By predicting where they go, we eventually determine where they go,” Keleher adds. “Fitted determines the future of retail.”

The Challenge … Most retailers are constricted by stock space and cash, but Fitted’s endless inventory brings millions of pairs to retailer’s customers without ever needing the retailers to actually carry the product in their stock. “Though we started in e-com, we truly see ourselves as a universal network,” Keleher says. 

The Pandemic Impact … When COVID initially forced consumers to go online, retailers had to adapt in order to meet demand Ð to meet them where they were, whether online or curbside pickup. The pandemic has changed the way consumers access shopping, and retailers need to embrace new tech to meet their customers’ needs and expectations.

Tech’s Role ... Supply chain disruption and shortages are here for the foreseeable future and for retailers to survive they all need access to inventory at the drop of a hat. “Consumers prioritize convenience over anything and making sure that retailers can meet all their customers’ needs at any moment is crucial,” Keleher explains. The Fitted universal network guarantees that if a product exists in the countrywhether at a brand’s warehouse or in the backroom of another retailerits software gives retailers access that product. This maximizes retailers’ ability to not only retain their customers, both in-store and online, but it also guarantees sell-through. 

Advice for Retailers … “The most important thing for retailers and brands to focus on is customer experience and retention,” says Keleher. “If you provide a world-class experience and meet the consumer’s needs and expectations, you change that person’s life and keep them as a customer forever.” Fitted wants to make sure that no matter where or how a customer chooses to shop with a run retailer, they can get what they want without needing to go anywhere else.

The Future of Tech … “We are just in the beginning of revolutionizing retail and have a lot of wild things coming down the pipeline,” promises Keleher.

Dynamic Distribution Addresses the Challenge of Inventory Shortages

As part of the rollout of Dynamic Distribution, Fitted selected 16 of its top retail partners to beta test the program. Two of those retailers provide their initial feedback here.

Running Center (three stores)

“It’s an ever-increasing competitive market that we’re trying to stay relevant in. If an order comes in from a customer it needs to be sent out the same day,” says Susan Tyler, director of business development. “Over the last few months we’ve had the demand, but we didn’t have the product due to supply chain issues with most of our vendor partners. Dynamic Distribution came around at a perfect time to help solve this problem. We jumped on it immediately.”

Naperville Running (four stores)

 “Dynamic Distribution has been great, especially during these COVID times when inventory is tough, to always make sure we’re able to make a sale and help our customers,” says Kyle Brady, director of retail/footwear buyer. “The first day we launched we had a long-time customer come in looking for his Black/White Peg 38s and we happened to be out. It was a cool feeling going to the product table and seeing there were 25-plus pairs we could pull from to ensure our customer was happy in store.

“It also has been a great way to make a little extra money and increase our turn for our products in store,” he adds. “When the request comes through for a product we can see if it’s something we can part with inventory- wise. If it is then we get a good bump that we wouldn’t have had before.”