- Similar to Stitch Fix, Under Armour athletic wear company is now offering a monthly outfitting box, wherein an “official outfitter” chooses four to six pieces of company clothing befitting a customer’s needs, style and goal profile, the Baltimore Sun reported last week.
- Unlike other clothing subscription boxes, there is no fee for the service; but like Stitch Fix, customers keep and pay for what they like and return the rest for free. If they keep every item, a 20% discount is applied to the total.
- All sports gear is customized according to e-commerce data and Connected Fitness customers who have positively reviewed items worn in areas such as golf, basketball, or soccer that the customer chooses.
Under Armour's free shipping and returns policy on its outfitting box clearly indicates a willingness to underwrite risk in the subscription box business.
Though many retailers underestimate the value of free shipping to consumers, though who do not pay a heavy price, such as Amazon, which routinely spends more than a billion dollars on shipping within a single quarter. Returns too are often costly for merchants, so much so that more than a few reverse logistics companies have popped up to capitalize on creating value for the rejected merchandise.
Still, Under Armour either has unusual confidence in the success of its new subscription boxes, or its logistics are streamlined enough to make the free shipping and returns a value-added proposition. Recently the company has faced a slew of negative publicity due to both its sponsorship of professional trophy hunters as well as CEO Kevin Plank's support for President Donald Trump (despite his later resignation from the president's manufacturing council after allegations of racism were cast), but neither has affected sales enough to make the launch of a subscription box seem like too great a risk. The personal curation aspect will likely appeal to buyers; or perhaps the project is more an experiment than an expected source of ongoing revenue.