Stitch Fix: Unboxing the Hype

Issue

01

It’s no secret that the mail order unboxing trend has really taken off in the last few years. Just try to log on to any social media platform without seeing a video of someone opening a box of beauty products, razors, wine or meal kits. This is not your jelly of the month club of the old days. Now, even your dog can get a monthly delivery of customized treats and toys just for himself.

Stitch Fix is one of the pioneers of the online personal shopping trend. The company was launched in 2011, to assist women who didn’t have the time or money necessary to meet with traditional department store personal shoppers. It provides a convenient, affordable alternative to boutique shopping, and has seen steady growth over the course of five years; last year the company reached $730 million in revenue.

WHAT IS STITCH FIX?

According to its website, Stitch Fix is an “online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience.” The company uses technology to gather information about its clients to provide them with a specific look to complement their personal style. The retail service originally catered only to women, but introduced a subscription for men in 2016. The mission of Stitch Fix is “to change the way people find clothes they love by combining technology with the personal touch of seasoned style experts.”

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Stitch Fix is a subscription-based service that is customized to the needs of the customer; the “fixes” can arrive at your doorstep monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. Each shipment contains five pieces of clothing or accessories that were chosen by a stylist, with the average cost about $55 per piece. Selections are based on the style profile that subscribers fill out prior to the first order, considering the customer’s preferences in color, body type and clothing size. Once unboxed, the subscriber has three days to decide which pieces to keep; payment is only required for the items not returned. Buyers are expected to provide feedback about the pieces that are returned, which helps the stylist choose pieces for future shipments.

USER REVIEW

We wanted to get the scoop from Lauren, a local Stitch Fix user, to see if the service lived up to her expectations. Lauren told us that one reason Stitch Fix appealed to her is for the flexibility to choose the frequency of her shipments. “I wasn’t obligated to spend hundreds of dollars every single month on clothes just so I could be a part of this,” she said. Her experience improved with each shipment because of the option to leave reviews and let her stylist know what types of items were appealing to her. “I’m all for trying new things, but clothing is still something that I’m pretty non-adventurous about,” she said.

For her second fix, Lauren wanted new items specifically for a special anniversary weekend trip. In her style profile, she indicated that she was hoping for something pretty and feminine, and asked to exclude pants or shorts in this particular shipment.

When she received her Stitch Fix box, she found a neatly-wrapped and beautifully presented bundle, complete with a personal note from her stylist explaining why she had chosen the particular pieces in the box. Each piece was clearly marked with a tag that included the brand name, item description, size and price. In this box were three dresses, one tunic and a knee-length skirt for Lauren. According to Lauren, “The skirt they sent is definitely one of my favorites! I don’t have a lot of skirts that fit me, and this one fit perfectly!” Of the five pieces in this fix, she decided to keep them all. However, she did need to make one size exchange, which was easily done using the enclosed return mailer bag that was already labeled for shipping.

PRICING

Lauren was able to easily figure out the cost of her fix because the receipt shows the price for each item individually, along with any discounts that are deducted. Buyers are able to offset the cost of their purchases by getting referral credits using personal links on social media. Each referral is worth a $25 credit toward the next purchase. There is also a discount from Stitch Fix when buyers choose to keep everything in their fix. Lauren tells us, “This is the key, because without that discount, you’d likely pay more for three or four items than for the whole box.” Stitch Fix also has a $20 styling fee, which is credited to your account upon purchase. Lauren felt like her anniversary-themed fix was a big win. “Basically, my $326 purchase turned into a $194.50 purchase because I kept all five items and referred someone to Stitch Fix.”

To find more information, or to subscribe to Stitch Fix, visit www.stitchfix.com.

“I wasn’t obligated to spend hundreds of dollars every single month on clothes just so I could be a part of this”