Trunk Club is no longer free. Crain's reports the apparel subscription service has added a home try-on fee and shortened the window for returns. Previously, members of the service only paid for items that they kept; they will now be charged a $25 try-on fee, which is credited towards any items they purchase. If the customer purchases nothing, they are out the $25. In addition, the at-home try-on period has been shortened from 10 days to five days. The reasons for the changes? Trunk Club has been losing money for its parent company, Nordstrom, which acquired the subscription service in 2014.
Total Retail's Take: Trunk Club's new approach is very similar to competitor Stitch Fix for Men's line. I think Trunk Club is taking a measured risk here. It's betting that a $25 fee won't scare off its loyal customers, while at the same producing a consistent revenue stream that will help it turn the corner to profitability and fend off its competitors. We'll have to see the push-back (if any) it gets from customers.