Ann Taylor is getting in on the subscription clothing craze

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Ann Taylor is getting in on the subscription clothing craze – Nov. 3, 2017

Retailers get ready for festive shoppers

More and more women are ditching the mall to buy their clothes online. But Ann Taylor has a plan.

The struggling brand, long a staple of women’s workwear, is launching a subscription clothing service.

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Infinite Style, which quietly debuted last month, allows Ann Taylor (ASNA) customers to rent an unlimited amount of clothing (three items at a time) for $95 a month.

Shoppers can wear the clothes for as long as they want, and send them back when they’re ready. Then they’ll receive the next box of three — and the cycle continues.

Subscribers get discounted prices for items they want to keep, and don’t have to worry about dry cleaning. Ann Taylor says it has it handled.

Subscription clothing services for women are all the rage right now. More and more shoppers are opting to stock their closets online, from the comfort of home — and the rental model seems to be catching on.

Related: Should you outsource your work wardrobe?

Stitch Fix, one of the best-known subscription services, filed for an IPO last month. And Rent the Runway, a rental service for designer clothing, keeps expanding its offerings. In October, the company rolled out a four-item, $89 per month subscription option to complement its $159 unlimited monthly plan.

“Our subscription business is up 125% year-over-year and is projected to triple in 2018,” Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman said at the time.

So it’s no surprise that Ann Taylor, which has seen foot traffic decline, wants to give fashion tech a go.

In its most recent quarter, Ann Taylor’s comparable store sales fell 2% compared to 2016. The previous quarter, comparable store sales were down 7%.

CNNMoney (New York) First published November 3, 2017: 4:29 PM ET

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