Gap marks another retailer testing the market for subscription boxes.
The apparel company’s baby division has rolled out its subscription offering to the public, Internet Retailer reported. A spokeswoman told the publication that Gap initially launched its program with a limited number of loyal shoppers. Over time, and quietly, it’s been expanded to a wider audience and is now featured online.
A representative from Gap didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for additional comment.
Each outfit box contains six pieces of clothing, costing $70 but worth $100 or more, according to Gap. Shoppers will have three weeks to decide if they want to keep the selected items. New boxes will ship every three months.
Gap has sporadically promoted the new service on its social media accounts, but for the most part marketing has remained muted. The website says, “Hurry, limited quantities available.”
Amazon is working on its own subscription box service, although not exclusively for kids, called Prime Wardrobe. Other wardrobe subscription services include Stitch Fix and Trunk Club. Encouraged by its success, Stitch Fix quietly filed for an initial public offering earlier this summer.
Subscription boxes offer companies like Gap a treasure trove of data on consumer shopping behavior, likes and dislikes. The business model also offers companies a predictable source of revenue, granted shoppers don’t cancel their subscriptions.
“We have entered a new world of retail where the traditional leaders are faced with unconventional channel competition, and subscription services are the newest player,” Marshal Cohen, an analyst with NPD Group, said in an industry report earlier this year.
“There is a great deal of room to grow within the subscription model, and the competitive field will continue to expand as online retailers develop subscription services and options for auto-replenishment of fashion basics,” he added.
NPD Group estimated that 35 percent of consumers “don’t even know” what subscription services are. Only 15 percent of consumers have ordered subscription boxes, while another 14 percent haven’t yet ordered them but plan to, the firm found.