Stitch Fix’s recent initial public offering (IPO) didn’t quite live up to expectations. The target IPO price was $18 to $20 a share. Instead, its stock opened at $16.90 — and, by the end of the day, the price came in at $15 a share. Day two wasn’t much better. The share price “broke issue” and closed below its $15 IPO price.
It was rough going, particularly for a firm that had valued its stock at $22.61 a year ago in a buyback.
With an IPO that looked decidedly more fizzly than expected, the concerned editorial pieces rolled out. Is there any chance for startup retailers in a digital commerce environment increasingly dominated by Amazon? Are any and all retail IPOs in danger of going bust?
It was a rather fraught few days.
But the calendar ended up being a big help for Stitch Fix in its nascent days as a publicly traded entity, as the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping holiday came early in 2017, and consumer enthusiasm did some work to steady the market’s concern about the emerging eCommerce brand. By Cyber Monday, stock prices were up more than 50 percent to over $24 a share, and though that has come down some, as of the writing of this article Stitch Fix’s stock price remains in the $23 range.
“On pricing, we didn’t end up where we had hoped to be. But, at the same time, we’ve been underestimated before. I feel like we thrive being in this position; we’ve never been an overhyped, overvalued company. And so we are very happy to prove ourselves in the public markets and show some good results,” CEO Katrina Lake told Recode.
Stitch Fix’s entire journey to the public markets has been one where they’ve had to push through expectations and rely largely on the strength of the firm and its eTail premise. During its startup run, Stitch Fix only raised $50 million. According to Lake, they didn’t have the luxury of investors throwing crazy sums of money and sky-high valuations at them. The focus always had to be on building a firm that could produce results consistently and stand…