Old Navy's "super box" for kids.

Old Navy launches today a kids’ subscription box service called “Super Box,” taking on a relatively new yet rapidly growing business model adopted by Trunk Club, Birchbox, Stitch Fix and Kidbox.

It’s a strategy that Old Navy executives say offers sharp values on kids’ clothes and accessories, and convenience for parents. They said it also reflects ongoing efforts to innovate in the kids and babies categories.

Here’s how the Super Box works: It will be automatically delivered four times a year based on the four seasons to those who sign up for the subscription, though parents can choose to have as many, or as few, deliveries during the year. There is no fee for the service.

Boxes are categorized by style. With boys, it’s preppy, sporty and cool. With girls, it’s classic, sporty and trendy. There is also a “surprise me” option, where Old Navy will choose a style for the customer. Each box contains six items, including accessories and apparel to create outfits, and is priced at $69.99. (Old Navy executives said the entire box is worth $100.) If all six items are kept, Old Navy takes $10 off the next box ordered. There is a 21-day return and exchange policy.

“We know parents are super busy. It’s perfect for a parent that wants convenience and a little surprise in the mail each season,” Andrés Dorronsoro, Old Navy’s senior vice president and general manager for kids, baby and licensing told WWD.

With the subscription service, “We make it super easy for parents by offering free shipping” on both deliveries and returns, Dorronsoro said. Old Navy has been offering free deliveries on orders of $50 or more since 2010.

The Old Navy kids look. 

Dorronsoro characterized the Super Box as “a test”  to see how parents and kids take to it. He also said the initiative reflects other efforts in the kids division of Old Navy to test new concepts. For the last back-to-school season, Old Navy, a division of Gap Inc., pumped up its footwear presentation for toddlers and kids by 25 percent, and scores of locations within the 1,000-unit chain reset kids and baby footwear into one “Shoe Shop” section geared to make the shopping easier and shine a brighter light on the category. Most Old Navy stores have toddler and kids’ shoe sections in two different departments or store levels, versus having one combined shoe section.

Trunk Club, Stitch Fix, Birchbox and Kidbox are considered early adopters of push commerce or subscription services. Stitch Fix and Kidbox don’t regard themselves as subscription services, since they don’t require consumers to pay subscription fees. However, Stitch Fix does have a $20 stylist fee. The $1 billion Stitch Fix plans to go public soon.

In all these cases, the idea is to spare consumers the hassles of shopping at stores by conveniently shipping fashion products, selected by stylists with prior information on customers’ personal style and fashion choices, to their homes.

Kidbox further distinguishes itself with its charity component. For every $98 spent by a family, Kidbox will send a new outfit, jacket or dress to a child in need via Delivering Good, formerly called K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers.

At Old Navy, in selecting merchandise for the Super Boxes, stylists are guided by size, gender and style preference, as well as purchasing history. “We provide curated outfits for your kids’ style without the cost of a stylist,” Dorronsoro said. “We will assess what they are loving. Every day children are having a greater voice in the purchasing decision. That trend is only going to get bigger. We love the idea of making it super easy for mom and designing the packaging in a way that is engaging for kids.”

The http://www.oldnavysuperbox.com site goes live today. “We will express a seasonal point of view each quarter,” said Dorronsoro.

Old Navy’s kids products. 

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