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Nike joins subscription economy with children’s shoes rental service

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Nike has launched an online subscription service for children’s shoes, joining the growing number of retailers using the model as a new way of selling to customers.

Nike Adventure Club will allow children aged roughly between two and ten to select new shoes when their feet grow or according to their changing tastes.

Customers sign up to one of three tiers of the service online, each of which has a different monthly fee and allows them to rent a certain number of shoes per year. Customers who like the shoes can keep them.

The plan includes free shipping and returns, with a twice-yearly shoe drive allowing customers to hand back worn-out shoes.

The service will also offer guides for outdoor games and activities. Nike started fulfilling subscriptions this week (12 August).

Dominique Shortell, director of product experience and retention for Nike Adventure Club, said:

“In providing footwear, we’re always trying to answer, ‘What do kids want?’

“But an equally important question is, ‘What kind of experience are we providing for their parents?’ We want to make shopping for footwear as convenient as possible for them.”

Dave Cobban, GM of Nike Adventure Club, said: “We see Nike Adventure Club sits as having a unique place within Nike, and not just for it being the first sneaker club for kids.

“It provides a wide range of options for kids, while at the same time, it removes a friction point for parents who are shopping on their behalf.”

The news comes after Nike introduced a smartphone-based shoe fitting service in May.

Subscription services reduce the cost of acquiring new customers

Marinus van Diggelen, director of digital product marketing and new business models at Philips Personal Care, said at a conference in September that the brand’s healthcare and beauty arm is exploring a range of new business models built around recurring payments as opposed to the traditional “single value exchange”.

Tchibo announced in May it was extending its clothing rental programme to new products after a successful year-long trial. The German clothing retailer said that the first year of Tchibo Share had shown the size of shopping carts and conversion rates “rising steadily”.

The retailer now plans to expand the range every six weeks, with new categories of children’s sporting wear set to launch on 21 May. The company will extend the range of women’s clothes on offer as well as offer holiday products.

IKEA announced plans back in February to trial leasing furniture to customers.

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