Will Walmart’s KIDBOX help kids look good and do good at the same time?

Discussion
Photos: Walmart, KIDBOX
Apr 16, 2019
George Anderson

Think Stitch Fix’s fashion subscription service for kids without the stylist fees. Also think about four or five curated clothing items arriving in a box at about 50 percent off the suggested retail price. That’s what you reportedly get with a newly announced subscription offer from Walmart.com and its partner, KIDBOX.

The new program, the first of its kind for Walmart, offers customers on the retailer’s site the ability to personalize choices from more than 120 premium kids’ brands, including many items not found in the chain’s stores.

Subscribers go to Walmart.com and complete a short style quiz to place their first order. KIDBOX combines data-driven machine learning and human stylists to tailor items in each box that match the personal fashion preferences of individual children, taking into account the season of the year and area of the country where they live.

The boxes include items for girls in sizes zero to 14 and boys zero to 16. Parents have the option of placing orders for on-demand delivery or scheduling up to six deliveries a year to coincide with seasons, back-to-school and holidays.

“Over the last year, we have significantly expanded our portfolio of kids’ fashion brands as part of our broader effort to establish Walmart.com as a destination for fashion,” said Denise Incandela, head of fashion, Walmart U.S. eCommerce, in a statement. “Our partnership with KIDBOX enables us to round out our offering with additional national and premium kids’ brands.”

Walmart.com has added over 100 new kids’ brands to its site over the past year, including Betsey Johnson, Kapital K, Levi’s, Limited Too and The Children’s Place.

KIDBOX, as part of its core mission, will donate clothing to needy children with every purchase. The company was founded in 2016 with a mission of donating clothing to one million kids in need. So far, KIDBOX has donated over $15 million in new clothing since its launch.

“We pride ourselves on understanding kids’ fashion preferences while also creating moments for them to learn about the importance of giving back,” said Miki Berardelli, KIDBOX CEO. “We look forward to bringing KIDBOX to even more parents and kids, inspiring them to do good in their communities.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you expect Walmart.com to gain from its partnership with KIDBOX? Would subscription programs designed for other demographics make sense for Walmart going forward?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"This appears to be one of those rare win-win-win scenarios, most importantly for the busy lifestyles of parents with young children."
"I like the on-demand frequency option and the philanthropic connection is important and admirable."
"If all goes well, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Walmart take the next step and invest or buy them."

Join the Discussion!

9 Comments on "Will Walmart’s KIDBOX help kids look good and do good at the same time?"


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Nikki Baird
BrainTrust

I think this is a great idea – with one caveat. I like the idea of a subscription box for kids, but would want to understand how they ensure that they grow the sizes with the kids. I can say that my Stitch Fix subscription turns out to be a great motivator for remaining the same size for ME, but kids grow – fast, and unevenly. Having a box arrive just as a boy pulls on pants that are suddenly three inches too short would be a miracle of convenience – if it actually works that way.

David Weinand
BrainTrust

I’m sure Walmart is using this partnership to test the efficacy of the subscription model with its customers. What they will gain is knowledge/data on what works best for subscription. KIDBOX is a smart company with a good model and I think it makes sense for Walmart.com to start with the children’s sector to offer a higher-end service to busy moms. If all goes well, it wouldn’t surprise me if they just buy KIDBOX.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

This makes so much sense for all parties. It’s a terrific simplifier for parents. It’s tough to keep up with growing kids and the changing of the seasons. Bravo to KIDBOX. Applause to Walmart for being a smart merchant in today’s market — again.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

Sure seems like a good idea — and I think this model, with these brands and the value pricing, has a chance to break through the subscription malaise many shoppers are experiencing. I like the on-demand frequency option and the philanthropic connection is important and admirable.

Brent Biddulph
BrainTrust

Brilliant. Traditional retailers like Walmart have yet to capitalize in a meaningful way on subscription (read: predictable demand) business models. This appears to be one of those rare win-win-win scenarios, most importantly for the busy lifestyles of parents with young children. For Walmart, the ability to provide a value added service AND the ability to glean deeper customer insights from some of their most important customer segments is brilliant. Just imagine the logical extensions, recommendations, cross-sell with food, toys, school supplies, health and wellness, etc. now possible for a retailer that does not require membership nor a “loyalty” program. Walmart continues to impress!

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

I like the idea and see a lot of potential upside, but there are some issues. First, some kids may have distinct ideas or brands or branded favorites that they hope to wear that algorithms may miss. It also takes traffic away from stores just as m-/e-commerce does including sales of spontaneous add-on items.

That said, if it can be made to work, it probably has a good chance at reaching outside the existing Walmart demographic and eroding sales from competitors targeting different socio-economic strata like Gap Kids.

Chris Angell
Guest

Subscription services are increasingly popular in retail today, not just for kids’ fashion. It would make a ton of sense for Walmart to expand this offering, assuming it succeeds, to additional demographics. There’s no reason Walmart can’t offer a subscription service tailored to all its major demographics and categories.

David Naumann
BrainTrust

KIDBOX is a great way for Walmart to benefit from the subscription service craze that is one of the hottest trends in retail. It is a convenient way for parents to shop for their kids without bringing them to the store and it is especially great for people that live in rural areas that are not close by a Walmart.

Some other subscription categories that are logical next steps for Walmart include toys, cosmetics, meal kits, pet products, candy and other specialty foods.

Sterling Hawkins
BrainTrust

It’s a great chance for all parties to learn — Walmart learns about a kids subscription model and KIDBOX opens their offering to a new audience. If all goes well, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Walmart take the next step and invest or buy them. It’d only be natural to look at extensions into other demographics from there.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"This appears to be one of those rare win-win-win scenarios, most importantly for the busy lifestyles of parents with young children."
"I like the on-demand frequency option and the philanthropic connection is important and admirable."
"If all goes well, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Walmart take the next step and invest or buy them."

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