American Eagle has joined the subscription club and, thus, the growing share economy.
The retailer has quietly rolled out its own subscription service, Style Drop, which it has been testing on its website in a limited manner.
The service allows subscribers to have up to three American Eagle items at a time for $49.95 per month. Shipping and cleaning come complimentary and shoppers are welcome to keep each item for a discount if they find themselves so inclined. Style Drop is currently only available in the United States.
Saying that the program allows “our closet to become your closet,” American Eagle’s online platform will allow shoppers to pick their favorites from a wide selection of its apparel and place them in a “virtual closet.” The items are then shipped, depending on availability, in a box of three items at a time. Subscribers can keep these for as long as the subscription is active, but must return the set as a whole unless a purchase has been made.
Currently, the service does not include shoes or accessories and American Eagle does not guarantee that all styles on its main website will be included in the service, though the retailer noted that it adds new styles each week. Style Drop does offers apparel sized from XS to XL and 00 to 16 and in various lengths. Jeans, however, are only being offered in regular length for the time.
The clothing that arrives at each subscriber’s doorstep will be part of a shared wardrobe split among Style Drop members. In order to keep each garment in top shape, American Eagle says it conducts three rounds of inspections after a thorough cleaning at its “state-of-the-art laundry facility” and hand-packs each box to guarantee quality—all of which is included in the flat fee.
American Eagle executive vice president and CMO, Kyle Andrew, said in an interview with Marketwatch, the program is directed at a new generation of consumer that is turned off by the disposable nature of fast fashion, yet intrigued at the value proposition of a subscription-based closet.
“Gen Z is increasingly interested in options that allow them to look great, but have less of an impact on the environment,” Andrew told Marketwatch. “As the test continues, and we learn more about what our customer is looking to rent from us, we’ll adjust the assortment accordingly.”
Not only do subscription programs give more consumers the ability to dress in fashions that may have once been out of their price ranges, but retailers like American Eagle are also able to use data gleaned from subscription platforms to collect more information on shoppers and their preferences to make further inventory decisions.