Organic Growth Masterclass: WIT Fitness, backed by VGC Partners
Andrew Lister, Partner at VGC, explains how WIT followed a four-point strategy to accelerate its growth.
WIT Fitness is a London-based e-commerce business focused on sneakers and apparel for fitness consumers. The company was early in identifying performance training and fitness emergence as a sport in its own right, with an associated culture and lifestyle and unique consumer tastes and demands. Through UK, US and European e-commerce operations and its London store, WIT activates products for Nike, Reebok, Adidas and Under Armour, allowing them to reach training consumers that they haven’t been able to reach themselves.
WIT was already incredibly good at generating creative ideas and launching new products, and the investment from VGC Partners has been used to upgrade systems and accelerate its growth even further. VGC implemented four organic growth strategies: strengthening the management team; upgrading systems; amplifying marketing and targeting global expansion.
At investment, Nick Adcock, CEO of luxury ski brand Spyder, joined as Chair and brought significant market and international experience through positions at Reebok and DC Shoes. WIT also built out the senior management, including a new CCO from digital retailer ASOS and CFO from the Arcadia Group. Since VGC’s investment, the firm has doubled its headcount and opened new distribution facilities in the US.
WIT was a £5m business ready to be a £20m to £30m turnover business, but it needed the enhanced systems to support that. The tools, both visible to the customer and for the backend, were redeveloped to better handle things like customer reviews and the personalisation of people’s shopping experience. All of this has added to the customer journey – allowing them to find appropriate products and in turn maximising the value of each transaction.
VGC’s support and investment helped WIT shape the brand and convey its message more strongly. It has enhanced its pop-up stores, hosted co-branded events with major athletic names and delivered sponsored competitions (though most are postponed until the uncertainty of Covid-19 has settled). VGC, which is led by Parminder Basran, has also helped the company’s approach to collaborations and campaigns.
WIT already had a foothold in the US prior to VGC’s investment. With the firm’s backing and funding, WIT’s US marketing campaigns and distribution have been regionalised. Business growth in the US has been phenomenal over the last year, achieving over 600 per cent US growth each month, while the UK and rest of the world is seeing more than 100 per cent growth.