direct-to-consumer brands

Partnering With Kidbox, Walmart Jumps Into Subscription Fray

Walmart is finally jumping into the clothing-subscription biz, partnering with Kidbox to create a $48 offer intended to woo parents who are both busy and fashionable.

The move comes at a time when D2C brands like Kidbox are looking for ways to expand beyond a relatively narrow digital space, and while Walmart is scrambling to find ways to keep up with the cool kids.

Despite a declining birth rate, parents are spending more on kids’ clothes in all channels, resulting in a free-for-all among brands, channels and retailers. Big-name brand Gymboree recently filed for bankruptcy, while Amazon is stepping up its private-label offerings with brands like Spotted Zebra. Both Stitch Fix and Target started offering kids’ boxes last year. And Foot Locker recently said it is a lead investor in Rockets of Awesome, another kids’ subscription business.



The Walmart Kidbox offer is a more affordable version of Kidbox’s standards selection, providing between four and five items for $48, rather than seven or eight for $98.

In the Walmart version, you pay when you check out online and either keep the whole box or return it, while Kidbox positions itself as a try-before-you-buy service with a la carte pricing, a spokesperson tells Marketing Daily. Items are chosen from 120 brands, like BCBG, Puma, Butter Super Soft, and C&C California, typically at a savings of about 50%.

Parents can sign up for up to six boxes a year, in sizes from 0 to 14 for girls and 0 to 16 or boys. And like Kidbox’s regular service, it has a do-good component, with every purchase generating a clothing donation to Delivering Good, which distributes items to kids in need.

Marketing plans include banners on the kids’ fashion landing page, performance marketing and customer email.

Walmart has long struggled in soft goods, while rival Target has been on a massive winning streak with its private-label brands, especially those aimed at kids. Target’s Cat & Jack is especially strong, and Cloud Island (aimed at babies) and Pillowfort (décor) are thriving.

Walmart’s deal with Kidbox fits with its efforts to bolster style credibility by teaming up with brands with more style appeal. Recent acquisitions include Bonobos, Modcloth, Moosejaw and Eloquii.

But the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer has also been expanding its own private brands, such as Wonder Nation and Athletic Works. And it’s also recently begun selling Hello Bello, a line of babycare products backed by celebrities Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard, an expanded nursery offering. It also launched new shopping destinations for dance essentials and gymnastics, as well as licensed children’s clothing.

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