Adidas Tries Out The Subscription Box Model — For $600 A Year

Photo: Courtesy of Adidas.
Adidas is getting into the subscription box business. In hopes of appealing to women (and, specifically, runners) who might not have time to shop for fitness gear, the sportswear brand has launched Avenue A, a quarterly box that delivers a selection of workout clothes and accessories to your doorstep for $150 a pop (that's a hefty $600 a year).

Each box will contain a mix of footwear, apparel, and accessories (a total of three to five products per shipment). The first Avenue A shipment features one of Adidas' newest (and buzziest) offerings for women: the PureBOOST X sneaker, with a floating arch that caters specifically to female customers and retails for $120. "PureBOOST X is a great example of the huge focus we have on the versatile female athlete," Kelly Olmstead, senior director of Adidas Brand Activation, said in a press release.

Limited or special edition Adidas items (as well as selections from their widely available merchandise) handpicked by influencers is a big selling point of Avenue A, and something you can expect every month. The service will begin this spring with an inaugural shipment curated by trainer and fitness instructor, Nicole Winhoffer. Every box will be "designed and curated by fitness’ most famous and fabulous," according to the Avenue A homepage.

While no other Avenue A curators (as the brand calls these influencers) have been announced, Adidas recently tapped Winhoffer, Karlie Kloss, Hannah Bronfman, Candace Parker and more to front its Here To Create campaign. So we can likely expect a mix of professional athletes and more fashion- and lifestyle-focused tastemakers. Of the recent releases targeting female consumers, including the PureBOOST X and the Here To Create campaign, Olmstead explained: "Our brand is listening to what women truly want, and that is product designed specifically for her combined with unique, customized experiences." She also promises that "this is only the beginning."

Adidas' Avenue A sounds a bit like another subscription service for one's sweat-drenched needs, Kate Hudson's controversial Fabletics. And while the $600 annual price tag certainly seems steep, it is, technically, equivalent to a dozen months worth of Hudson's subscription service for the gym-bound (or, perhaps, couch-bound), which costs $49.95 a month, assuming you opt to "shop" versus "skip" all 12 shipments. (Fabletics did recently reveal plans to expand into brick-and-mortar, meaning forking over a monthly installment plan won't be the only way to buy the brands' athletic garb.)

However, Adidas is hoping to target the customer, a somewhat regular runner who also dabbles in other fitness activities, and who is too busy to be shopping for workout clothes. "Their lives are pulling them in so many different directions," Chris Brewer, Adidas’s category director for running, told The Washington Post. "They would rather actually be working out than going to shop for their workout gear."

Is the convenience factor truly worth a couple of dollars up front for a surprise assortment of full-price workout gear? That's debatable. But hopefully Avenue A will, at least, make it easier than Fabletics to opt out if the delivery workout gear concept doesn't end up being a fit.

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