Five Four Club, one of the most successful subscription box service businesses in the world today, was started almost by happenstance and certainly wasn’t ever thought to become exactly what it is today – a wildly successful, tremendously profitable, and rapidly growing business with positive reviews that has helped the founders meet their goals and create the financial future they always dreamed of.
Originally conceived of by Dee Murthy and Andres Izquieta, two students at the University of Southern California, this company has taken the men’s fashion world by storm – but only after weathering more than a handful of storms all on its own.
Let’s break down a quick history of Five Four Club clothing and highlight some of its most memorable moments!
A university project becomes something else entirely
As we touched upon above, the original idea for Five Four Club was conceived of during a business class at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Neither of the two founding partners knew exactly what this project was going to turn into and how it would transform their lives from that moment, but almost immediately after they begin researching the men’s clothing industry they discovered just how much potential existed and were entrepreneurial enough to dive right in.
The idea for Five Four Club – $240 for 60 was conceived of in 2001 and by 2002 they had already began to dive headfirst into this industry. Visiting tradeshows, forming partnerships, and getting picked up by major department stores (like Macy’s and Nordstrom, for example), their company was off to the races and they were really riding high.
The Great Recession hits
Unfortunately, life decided to throw Five Four Club a curveball and what a curveball it was! In 2008, the Great Recession hit the United States and the rest of the world and hammered most every industry and marketplace – but it especially hit the men’s fashion industry hard.
The owners of Five Four Club were forced to take back a tremendous amount of merchandise from the department stores that they had been working with right along, had to deal with a tremendous amount of chargebacks from customers all at once, and really started to question whether or not this was the right direction to take things and if the recession had hit them hard enough to keep them down on the mat.
Trying out brick and mortar operations
The partners decided to try a new approach and use a more direct to consumer kind of business model by opening up a flagship store in Southern California in 2009. This retail operation did so well that they opened up three more shops in the area in just 18 months, but even this was turning out to be too good to be true.
All of a sudden business really started to slow down, they found out how hard it is to be a men’s only clothing store, and had to fight against overwhelmingly stiff competition from malls and major fashion operations looking to rebound from the Great Recession. They folded up shop almost as quickly as they expanded and began to look towards the web for the newest iteration of Five Four Club.
A look at Five Four Club today
In 2012, just five short years ago, Five Four Club was launched as an online subscription box service and rapidly exploded into one of the most lucrative operations of its kind and definitely one of the game changers in this industry.
Today, Five Four Club sells $60 a month subscriptions to more than 60,000 customers each and every single month, and their rate of growth is outpacing what even they could have hope. This is quickly becoming one of the most impressive case studies of flexibility and adaptability in the face of market challenges, and there are plenty of companies out there copycatting this model that Five Four Club really pioneered in hopes of having the same kind of success.