Membership styling service Wantable has a new vertical, this time for women’s ready-to-wear. Called Style Edit, which begins on April 24, brands offered include BCBG Max Azria, Hudson Denim, Olive + Oak, French Connection and Paige Premium Denim.
According to Jalem Getz, founder and president, consumers pay a $20 styling fee that is applied to their purchase. About three to five items are sent out in a box to one’s home, allowing the consumer to try on before they buy. Shoppers who keep all the items shipped get an additional discount, or they may elect to keep select items at specified prices and return the ones they don’t want. The average value of the box is around $350. The company makes a profit only when consumers elect to buy from the box.
Wantable’s model parallels traditional brick-and-mortar inventory buys, with the company buying product from the vendors and then, because they own the inventory, having the issue of what to do with overstocks. Getz said because of the data they have from each customer, they can target what is stylized for each one, which helps reduce the challenge of too much inventory and lessens the need for retail markdowns. “We use algorithms to determine the exact buying behavior of our customers so instead of the traditional chasing the ball, we can make better guesses on what our customers want,” Getz said.
Style Edit follows Wantable’s Fitness Edit, the vertical that’s been available for six months. Both are different from Wantable’s original three verticals for makeup, intimates and fashion and accessories that are offered on a subscription basis, although an individual box can be purchased for $40. Price points for the subscribed model are lower than for the Fitness or Style Edit options.
The company, which secured $1.5 million in Series A funding last July, isn’t looking to raise any new funding yet. Annual growth is 400 percent in the first quarter versus the year-ago period in 2014, according to Getz. The company, based in Wisconsin, can ship overseas, but its primary base is in the U.S. in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and part of Florida.
While Stitch Fix is likely Wantable’s closest competitor in the membership styling front, the idea of a personal stylist is becoming a bigger part of the e-tail model, particularly those that have a data-rich analytics platform.
Even men’s online brands are getting into the act. Trunk Club and Five Four Club have comparable curated service models for men. Frank & Oak, which offers a separate styling advice service for its members, also offers an option where members can pick the three items they want to try on at home before deciding to buy.