Mar 11, 2020 Stitch Fix falls 25% because we may have hit peak Fix Read More In need of financial stitching... Stitch Fix, the online personal styling service, just unveiled its earnings for the last quarter — far from glamorous. It's a fashion company trying to look like a tech company. You fill out a style quiz (modern or boho? Slim fit or athletic?) and Stitch Fix sends you monthly subscription boxes of ambitious clothes to push your looks envelope.
The population of Fixers jumped 17% over the year to reach 3.5M.
And it's a scaling up tech company that's actually profitable ($11M last quarter).
But its latest service reveals a problem... "Direct Buy." Instead of using Stitch Fix's proprietary, algorithm-enabled, human-curated style decision tool to hook you on a monthly subscription, Stitch Fix offers the option to just buy clothes from its online store instead. Direct. Just like other ecommerce sites. That undermines Stitch Fix's core service and could be a sign of an underlying demand problem.
The Takeaway:It's struggling to move past early adopters... And that's why the stock is down 67% from its peak. Early adopters drive initial sales and growth for innovative new companies — then it's time to go mainstream. The true test of success is expanding beyond its early demographic. But 2 stats show that's not exactly happening for Stitch Fix:
To find new customers, Stitch Fix had to up its spending on ads — by 49% last quarter.
But customers spent less per "Fix" on average. Oct 22, 2019 Destination Maternity files for bankruptcy because, you know, Millennials and athleisure Read More What to expect when you're expecting bankruptcy... Destination Maternity just filed for it. Technically its 436 stores (including "A Pea In The Pod" and "Motherhood" brands) stay open while a judge decides what to do with this overly-indebted chain. Despite partnerships with Jessica Simpson and a hail mary promotion with the NFL, the pre-mom outfitter's sales still shrank 25% over the past 3 years.
Maternity clothing needs Lamaze breathing exercises... While ecommerce brings on the retail-pocalypse, maternity wear is especially primed for disruption. Here's what's blurred the line of whether you even need to buy a maternity wardrobe:
Extended athleisure: Stretchy gear means postponing that maternity wear purchase another trimester because you've already got Lululemon.
Digital stylers: Fashion subscription services like Stitch Fix already know your wardrobe, and their humans/algorithms suggest what you'll need pre/post-baby.
Clothing rental: You'll only need that materni-romper for less than a year, making it perfect for rental businesses like Rent the Runway and Le Tote.The Takeaway:Adult milestones are hitting later... Marriage, babies, house-buying — all increasingly delayed by student loans, careers, and plenty of hefty cultural factors (we're tired of the “Millennials killed X” narrative, too). That social shift didn't just hit Destination Maternity — David's Bridal filed for bankruptcy this year and diaper sales in the US have dipped 0.3% annually from 2012 to 2017. Aug 13, 2019 Nike unveils its 1st kids kicks subscription box: "4 pairs/year for $20/month" Read More If baby Jordan went back-to-school... he'd subscribe. A stealthy sneaker club startup called Easy Kicks has been delivering shoes to 10K member families. Turns out it was Nike all along. Easy Kicks just got rebranded as "Nike Adventure Club" for kids 2-10, and it's Nike's 1st-ever subscription service:
The tiers: 3 options — Get 4 pairs of sneakers per year for $20/month, 6 pairs for $30/month, or 12 pairs for $50/month.
The feel-good: Send back the kicks and Nike donates or recycles them.
The asterisk: Pediatricians say that's way too many shoes for even fast-growing kids.
Subscriptions — so hot right now... From Dollar Shave Club razors to Lola tampons, subscriptions guarantee recurring revenues for the biz and build brand loyalty (plus, customers don't have to shop/think anymore). Now, Kid-scriptions are gaining traction because they grow so fast (😭) they constantly need new stuff. Here's who else has boxes for size "24 months" up to "16 husky":
Walmart partnered up with kids' clothing startup Kidbox.
Foot Locker invested in Kidbox rival Rockets of Awesome.
Algorithm-powered fashion subscription Stitch Fix launched a kids version last year.The Takeaway:It's all about the upgrade... The biggest surprise for Nike was how offering different price tiers let users test it — and then commit. Intensely. Most began at the cheap $20/month option, craving more adorably small kicks. And then they paid up for the fancier tier ("just $10 more for 2 more pairs!"). Nike's pricing strategy was the real winner. Apr 17, 2019 Walmart's first subscription box: it's for kids Read More Fancy new onesie... Got it from Walmart, which just partnered with KidBox to launch its 1st subscription box for clothes. But it's for kids and "borrows" heavily from Stitch Fix's core business model: Fill out online personality/style quiz, then Walmart's human/algorithm stylists choose/send you clothing.
The price: 4-5 items per box, $48 per box (Walmart says that's 1/2 the retail price of the bundle).
The "Kid Quiz": Awkwardly select if your toddler is "City Cool," "Modern Casual," or one of their other kid types.
Your kids' dept. was this tall the last time I saw you!... The $203B kids clothing industry is growing faster than adult-wear. And the opportunity is even bigger because Gymboree and Toys 'R' Us recently went bankrupt, leaving toddlers with no fashion direction. It's not just Walmart jumping in:
Target's new kids line did $2B in sales in its first year.
Rent-The-Runway announced a kids line this month, and Stitch Fix's began last year.
Gap just tried a kids subscription box, but failed 😰.The Takeaway:"Subscription" isn't a defensible advantage... Birchbox created the subscription box concept 9 years ago. Blue Apron ran with it in meal kits. Both are now struggling as competitors jump in because launching subscription services doesn't require a major investment. Now Walmart (and even Amazon) boast algorithm-focused fashion subscriptions. Stitch Fix is on notice.