Companies like Gap and Target are joining the kids subscription clothing business
This might be a school of thought worth subscribing to
With concierge delivery services available for just about anything under the sun thanks to companies like TaskRabbit, Uber, Instacart and Birchbox — having things delivered has never been easier.
Anyone with kids knows that finding time to shop for little ones wares can be challenging, even if said shopping occurs online. And with the average American family spending more than $1700 on clothing annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies are taking advantage of the opportunity to make shopping easier. And Amazon knows better than anyone about online shopping and the convenience of having your purchases delivered to your door. Last summer, they launched the Amazon Prime wardrobe service — an option that allows people to try clothes on before pulling the trigger on buying them.
Clothing subscription services aren’t a new trend, but “baby boxes” are and they’re cropping up everywhere. Last fall, Gap launched $70 subscription boxes for babies that include six pieces of clothing valued at $100 or more every three months. So how does it work? Shoppers select a gender, size and theme, receive a shipment of seasonally selected duds every three months and send back items they don’t want — they’re only charged for what they keep.
Last week, Target announced the release of the Cat & Jack Baby Outfit Box that includes six items handpicked by Target designers. Every box is topped off with an additional gift and with each box selling for $40, people feel like they’re getting a good deal.
Instagram influencer Natalie Thomas of Nat’s Next Adventure tells Moneyish, “I love the concept of subscription boxes, a curated collection from your favorite, or some of your favorite brands that arrives at your door each month and takes that additional task of shopping for your ever-growing and constantly evolving kids off your list. Especially with a service like Mac & Mia or Rockets of Awesome who offer a variety of clothing companies, you may be introduced to ones you’ve never noticed.” Thomas also appreciates the seamless return system these companies have employed.
But, subscription services aren’t for everyone. “If you, like me, are pretty particular about your child’s style and find joy in a little retail therapy, you may just want to stick with your online go-to’s,” says Thomas.
Smaller businesses like Mac & Mia and Rockets of Awesome charge a $20 styling fee for their curated boxes, while Dopple charges a $10 “service fee” which can be credited to anything you keep. If you keep at least two items from your Mac & Mia shipment, the $20 is applied to your order and if you keep everything in the box, they offer a 15% discount on the total. Shipping is free both ways and each box contains six to nine items and accessories with the average price point for apparel at $35 and accessories running an average of $12.
Marie Tillman, founder and CEO of Mac & Mia launched the company in 2014 out of her garage and she now serves more than 20,000 active customers. “Parents are busy and kids grow quickly, so receiving a box of just what you need can be a real time and money saver,” Tillman tells Moneyish.
Adult subscription services like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club offer real life stylists that correspond with users to get to know what they like. Though a $30 fee for the service is more affordable than hiring a personal stylist that can run $100 an hour (plus the cost of clothing), committing to items picked out by someone else is where some people get hung up.
Los Angeles-based lifestyle blogger Michelle Villemaire tried a subscription service for herself that has deterred her from trying one for her kids. “My stylist didn’t get me,” says Villemaire. And for just that reason, Rockets of Awesome has a feature that allows you to review and approve your assortment before you receive it. Additionally, their $20 styling fee is credited towards anything you keep and they offer a 25% discount if you keep your entire delivery, so there’s incentive to make sure you like what you see before you receive it.
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