Katrina Lake, CEO of online retailer Stitch Fix, for years has expected a reckoning in retail—and it’s starting to play out. Brick-and-mortar retailers like Sears and Macy’s have lately been closing stores as they grapple with declining store traffic. It presents a potential opening for Stitch Fix to prove out its unusual retail model and start “planning to be ready” to go public, she says.
To get there, Stitch Fix must rise out of relative obscurity. In its six-year history, Stitch Fix has gotten plenty of people to try out its service, which picks out and ships clothes to customers based on what it knows about their preferences. But now Stitch Fix wants to break out of that niche and persuade customers to commit to buying clothes regularly.