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Subscriptions model finds favour among fashion shoppers, report shows

Image © Stitch Fix

The steady hold that physical retail still exerts over fashion sales belies how the sector’s shoppers are embracing new ways to engage with fashion retail. The pandemic shift towards new habits resulted in a surge of interest in subscriptions across many retail sectors, the RetailX Global Fashion 2024 report has found. 

Here, shoppers pay a monthly fee to have access to exclusive goods and services, building on success seen in the late 2010s in food, cookery, beauty and healthcare subscription boxes.

Interestingly, the subscriptions model has found favour among fashion shoppers. Pioneered in luxury, the model of paying a monthly fee and having access to a curated range of items has gained ground in fashion. Socks in a box, Monthly Tee Club, Fabletics and even Panty by Post are but a few of the hundreds of fashion and apparel subscription services seeking to meet a range of fashion and everyday apparel needs.

There are many reasons why these are so popular. In fashion, value for money, hefty discounts and convenience are the key drivers – as they are in most sectors – but there are also pressures from being better for the environment and offering wider choice. Access to exclusive products ahead of the mass market is also cited by a significant proportion of subscribers.

Leading players such as Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway look to offer a broad range of items in high fashion but at a more affordable price. The former uses a detailed sign-up questionnaire to assign the shopper a personal stylist to pick garments for a monthly box. Rent the Runway’s modus operandi is to give access to top designer brands at an affordable monthly fee of around $100.

At the other end of the market, Comma Vintage hand-picks vintage and pre-loved clothing, while Dia & co services the plus-sized market. There are also subs services for yoga and sportswear, underwear – both sexy and functional – workwear, jewellery, handbags, kids clothes and more.

The second edition of the groundbreaking & sell out conference, SubscriptionX is set to continue its exploration of the latest and greatest in digitally-driven DTC subscription models. On 14 May, we’re bringing together experts within the B2C sector of multichannel retailers, brands, and media, to foster a cross- pollination of ideas. Registration remains open!

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