Women’s clothing brand Ann Taylor is getting into subscription commerce.
To help get its fashion merchandise into the hands of more customers, the company has made a strategic decision to compete with other clothing rental firms like Rent the Runway, retail news platform Chain Store Age reported Thursday (Oct. 2).
According to its website, Ann Taylor’s “Infinite Style” clothing rental concept provides its customers with hundreds of looks for a flat rate. The subscription service will come with a $95 monthly fee that includes borrowing three fashion items at a time, no due dates for returns, free shipping on orders and returns, unlimited item exchange and free dry cleaning.
Ann Taylor shoppers will also have the option to purchase items they have rented, and for a discount. The Infinite Style subscription service will only feature Ann Taylor brand apparel, though, and not the company’s accessories, jewelry, Ann Taylor Loft or Lou & Grey lines.
Subscription commerce is currently making waves across much of the retail sector. With subscription options for health and beauty products, vinyl records, movie theater passes, pet goods, meal preparation kits, entertainment streaming, business products and everything in between, the market for such services is increasingly competitive.
Sports apparel retailer Under Armour, for example, launched its own subscription retail service, ArmourBox, in October. ArmourBox offers the fitness brand’s consumers a monthly selection of the company’s sportswear items, each piece selected by an Under Armour stylist and based on interests listed in a user’ profile.
Kate Hudson’s Fabletics brand launched a few years ago, and its subscription platform, TechStyle, is making waves with its departure from the classic apparel retail model. The platform offers a VIP membership option, a subscription-like product giving customers the opportunity to get favorable pricing on an exclusive line of fashionable clothing. The most important element is catering to the needs and wants of the customer.
“We have 1.2 million customers and we know how many like X, where they live, what the weather is there and what their size is,” said Shawn Gold, TechStyle CMO. “There is still art in the process, but it’s more science than ever before.”