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Evolution of the Subscription Box: Urban Outfitters Launches Nuuly
Image Courtest of Nuuly

Image Courtest of Nuuly

Hot Trend Alert: Subscription BOxes

Companies like Unicorn retailer Rent The Runway are transforming the way we shop. “In more and more categories, consumers are choosing to rent rather than own goods outright. Think of Spotify supplanting CD sales and downloads, Netflix replacing video stores and ZipCar standing in for car ownership among many young urbanites,” according to Business Insider State of Fashion report for 2019. The report goes on to predict that the trend in consumer behavior is here to stay, and will have an impact in the future of fashion business.

Enter Stage Right: Urban Outfitters (URBN) and Nuuly.

This Tuesday (5/21), Urban Outfitters announced the launch of Nuuly, a women’s apparel subscription service. URBN has been keeping tabs on the trends that are impacting shopping behaviors. In fashion, sharing-economy platforms and reoccurring subscriptions have gained wide popularity, especially amongst millennial consumers. These consumers are seeking services that offer variety and novelty while also supporting sustainable efforts.

With Nuuly, Urban Outfitters offers their customers the “creative, compelling shopping experience they desire” that they state in their company mission. This service allows customers to select styles from Urban Outfitter’s own brands and third-party labels as wear them as often as they like. After one month, they can then swap for new styles, giving their wardrobe some variety, or if they love what they rented, they can purchase any item!

Image Courtesy of Nuuly

Image Courtesy of Nuuly

Is it Really Worth it?

The short answer is yes. For $88 a month, customers can choose six items from the following (according to URBN’s press release):

  • URBN’s own brands: Anthropologie, Free People & Urban Outfitters

  • A curated selection of hundreds of rare vintage items

  • Fashion & streetwear offerings from global athletic brands: Reebok, Fila & Champion

  • Denim brands: Levi’s, Wrangler, DL1961, Paige, AYR, Citizens of Humanity, & more

  • Contemporary brands & designer labels including: Universal Standard, Naadam, LoveShackFancy, Chufy, Gal Meets Glam, Ronny Kobo & Anna Sui

 These offerings are on average $800 worth of retail value per box for just the tenth of the price.

Is it Green?

Throughout the past few months, we have highlighted inspirational and innovative sustainable efforts. It is no secret that the fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries; however, the subscription and rental model in fashion may prove to be a great sustainable alternative to fast fashion. Nuuly will ship all of its items in reusable bags with a prepaid shipping label – making it easy and greener for customers. Services such as Nuuly allow customers to conveniently and affordably change their wardrobe without creating much demand for new clothing.