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Luxury Retailer Vince Enters Growing Subscription Box Market

Luxury apparel and accessories brand Vince this week announced it is entering the subscription box game, offering unlimited access to its women’s collection.

Launched as Vince Unfold, the online subscription service is priced at $160 per month for a four-garment plan and offers the brand’s full line of women’s apparel including knitwear, dresses, outerwear and trousers. As with most subscription boxes, members have the option to keep and purchase any items. The flat monthly subscription fee also includes free priority shipping, unlimited exchanges and returns and complimentary laundering services.

Vince said it partnered with rental technology platform CaaStle to develop the new subscription program, including handling technology, reverse logistics and managed services.

“Vince Unfold is an innovative new subscription service that will tap our existing product assortment to drive incremental revenue while further advancing awareness of the Vince brand,” said Vince CEO Brendan Hoffman in a statement. “We believe that subscription services will play a much greater role in consumer shopping patterns in the near future and are excited to partner with CaaStle to offer this service.”

The subscription box industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and according to online market intelligence firm Hitwise, online visits to pure-play services jumped nearly nine-fold, from 4.7 million visits in April 2014, to 41.7 million in April 2018. However, Hitwise said growth has tapered as the industry matures.

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“Growth has since slowed down in the last year, but the industry is by no means fading away; it’s just maturing,” Hitwise said in its “2018 Industry Analysis: The Rise of Subscription Boxes and the Consumers Behind Them.”

Still, Hitwise said a record 18.5 million consumers in the U.S. visited at least one subscription box site in the first quarter of 2018, up 24 percent year over year.

And while the subscription box industry is becoming crowded, and some categories have seen their growth tempered—such as beauty, where visits to subscription boxes dropped 1 percent in April over the prior year—the apparel category experienced a 20 percent increase in visits during the same period.

Vince seems to have done its homework, because not only is the apparel subscription box category growing, but Hitwise data indicates the consumers most likely to shop this way are women with household incomes above $100,000.

This is all good news for a brand that claims to have “the first apparel subscription service to be offered by a retail brand in the advanced contemporary market.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Vince to offer the CaaS (Clothing as a Service) model to their consumers,” CaaStle founder and CEO Christine Hunsicker, said in a statement. “As the first contemporary brand to embrace our rental platform and services, Vince can more deeply engage current consumers while also attracting new ones. CaaStle handles all the customer experience, logistics and technology to allow Vince the opportunity to create a new, profitable channel that didn’t exist before.”