Walmart and KIDBOX are partnering to bring curated children’s styleboxes to Walmart.com. The Walmart KIDBOX stylebox will offer a personalized selection of four to five apparel items from more than 120 brands, including BCBG, Butter Super Soft, C&C California and Puma.
KIDBOX stylists design the boxes based on the child’s chosen preferences, including the season and where they live, to generate a personalized selection. The boxes are available in a variety of sizes for both boys and girls, and the products range from sweaters and denim to dresses and graphic T-shirts.
Parents can choose between scheduled delivery on demand, or automatic shipments of up to six annual boxes timed to the seasons, back-to-school and the holidays. Each box costs $48, which is approximately 50% off the suggested retail price for the bundled products.
Walmart has been steadily expanding its kids’ fashion assortment, which currently includes more than 100 brands. The retailer also grew its toy selection over the holidays, expanding its collection by 30% in-store and 40% online. Launching a subscription DTC service can complement this growth in the children’s market by making it convenient for parents to become repeat buyers.
“The name of the game in retail right now is growing customer lifetime value,” said Corey Pierson, CEO of Custora in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “Customers are expensive to acquire and are increasingly less loyal. Economically, this is a brutal combination — compared with even a few years ago, it costs more to get customers in the door and a brand earns less from each customer once they’re there. These subscription tactics are a way to formally create a ‘repeat buyer’ experience. They’re one of many tactics retailers are deploying as they increase investment in growing lifetime value.”
However, Walmart’s size and legacy may make it tricky for the retail giant to enter a new space. While the company’s selection and experience is unparalleled, it lacks the agility and flexibility of newer entrants to the competitive DTC market.
“Smaller DTC clothing companies have the benefit of focus, passion and funding to absorb losses and capture market share,” said Jonathan Treiber, CEO of RevTrax in commentary emailed to Retail TouchPoints “We’ve seen Walmart be able to do incredible things with reinvention and innovation. However, launching a new DTC brand analogous to Stitch Fix and others might be a leap too far, unless they can recreate the magic ingredients above. I would more likely expect Walmart to buy a fledgling DTC clothing brand and scale it. But I’m eager to see if they have the chops to launch a new brand and business model to compete in an increasingly crowded DTC marketplace.”