For the last decade, Figs, the California manufacturer of stylish uniforms for people working in the medical profession, has concentrated on selling its merchandise exclusively through its e-commerce channel.
But that is changing. The $500-million venture just opened its first store at the Westfield Century City shopping center, located in a Los Angeles neighborhood filled with high-rise office buildings and several medical offices and clinics. A second Figs store is planned for Philadelphia in the first half of next year.
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“We’ve always had retail as part of our vision, to have a health care-oriented store for health care professionals,” said Trina Spear, a former Wall Street investment banker who is the company’s cofounder and chief executive.
The compact outpost, measuring slightly less than 1,000 square feet, will be more than just a place to buy clothing. It will also operate as a community hub for professionals with events talking about important issues impacting health care workers and creating networking opportunities. “It’s not just about shopping. It is about making that connection. We are going to have weekly programming with different speakers and different events,” Spear explained. “It will be really fun and empowering. Mental health is a hot topic in our community. We will have mental health specialists, all with the ethos of how do you serve yourself as a health care professional so you can go back out and serve.”
In the past, Figs experimented with temporary stores. In 2018, Figs had a pop-up for a few months on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Another temporary store on Crosby Street in New York City opened in the fall of 2019 and closed in early 2020.
Then the pandemic hit and life for health care workers got crazy. Now with health care workers just as important as ever, it was time for that first permanent Figs store, which is near five health care clinics and six major health care institutions, including UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Philadelphia was chosen as the next location because there is a large concentration of medical schools and medical students there. It will open in the Rittenhouse Square area, near five health care institutions, and be much larger, at 4,000 square feet. “One in six doctors is trained in Philadelphia,” Spear said. “Students are a big priority for us. If we can catch them early on in their career, they will be with us for 35 to 40 years.”
More Figs stores will be added as needed. But the company intends to take a disciplined approach to its retail rollouts, sticking with locations with a high density of health care professionals.
Figs has also tapped into the international market with online sales in 24 countries, including Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, making up 11 percent of total revenues.
Figs was cofounded in 2013 by Spear and Heather Hasson, a fashion entrepreneur who is the company’s executive chair. They believed health care workers needed better and more trendy work clothes. They produced a line of comfortable looks that includes fitted tops, jogger pants, jumpsuits, tops with mandarin collars and dropped-shoulder silhouettes. Most of the brand’s clothing is manufactured in Asia, but Spear said production is moving toward the Middle East and Latin America.
In 2021, Figs became the first company led by two female entrepreneurs to become a publicly traded entity. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Since they launched from their headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., revenues have grown rapidly. In 2020, net revenues came in at $263 million. In 2021, net revenues totaled $419.6 million, and last year, net revenues totaled $505.8 million.
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