Nike launches a subscription service for kids’ shoes, Nike Adventure Club – gpgmail

Just in time for back-to-school shopping, Nike today officially announced its entry into the subscription service market with the launch of a “sneaker club” for kids called Nike Adventure Club. The new program is specifically designed to make shopping easier for parents who struggle to keep up with their quickly growing children’s shoe needs. Instead of taking kids to the store and trying on pair after pair to try to find something the child likes, the new Nike Adventure Club will instead ship anywhere from four pairs to a dozen pairs of shoes per year, depending on which subscription tier parents choose.

The club serves kids from sizes 4C to 7Y — or roughly ages 2 to 10.

Club pricing begins at $20 per month which will ship out new shoes every 90 days. For $30 per month, kids get 6 pairs per year. And for $50 per month, kids will get new shoes every month — a choice that may be excessive except for the most active kids who were their sneakers every day, play sports, or have a tendency to wreck their shoes in short order.

However, even the minimum of four pairs per year may be too frequent for some parents of older kids.

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, toddlers under 16 months grow more than one-half a foot size every two months. From 16 to 24 months, they grow an average of one-half a foot size every three months. From 24 to 36 months, it’s one-half a foot size every four months. Then things slow down.

Children over three years old grow one-half a foot size every 4 to 6 months. That means some older kids only need to replace their shoes twice per year, outside of excessive wear and tear.

That said, Nike allows parents to upgrade or downgrade their subscription at any time, or even put it on pause.

Once signed up, parents will receive an email with a selection of over 100 styles of Nike and Converse shoes to choose from, which they can review with their kids. They then pick which shoes they want to receive, and these are shipped to the home in a box with the child’s name on it. This box also includes an “adventure kit” filled with activities and games for parents to do with their kids, stickers, plus a small gift. The kit is created in partnership with the nonprofit KaBoom, which is focused on encouraging kids to lead healthy lifestyles.

If the shoes are the wrong size, exchanges are free within a week of delivery.

Perhaps the best part of the program is the recycling component.

Twice a year, Nike will ship out a prepaid bag where parents can send back their kids’ worn shoes, which will either be donated to families in need if in good condition or recycled through Nike Grind, a program that separates out the rubber, foam, leather, and textile blends, grinds them into granules, and incorporates those into new products including footwear, apparel, and play surfaces.

“We see Nike Adventure Club sits as having a unique place within Nike, and not just for it being the first sneaker club for kids,” says Dave Cobban, VP of Nike Adventure Club, in a statement about the launch. “It provides a wide range of options for kids, while at the same time, it removes a friction point for parents who are shopping on their behalf.”

Nike has been testing the program since 2017, when it was known as Easy Kicks. The test reached 10,000 members, the company said.

Nike isn’t the first to launch a subscription focused on kids — and big retailers have taken note. This year, Foot Locker took a minority stake in kids’ clothing subscription Rockets of Awesome and Walmart partnered with children’s clothing startup Kidbox.

Stitch Fix also offers a kids’ styling service. And Amazon offers a try-before-you-buy shopping service without a subscription, Prime Wardrobe. Amazon’s variation offers both girls and boys options where parents can fill a box with apparel, shoes, and accessories for home try-on and easy returns.

Nike’s Adventure Club is launching today but is easing in new customers via a waitlist option.

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This startup wants to democratize custom sneaker ownership – gpgmail

There’s nothing like having a pair of fresh, unique sneakers. Limited release culture facilitates some of that, but The Custom Movement hopes to make originality and self-expression via sneakers more accessible to the masses.

The Custom Movement, a custom sneaker startup backed by Y Combinator, enables independent artists to sell their one-of-a-kind sneaker designs to those who want highly unique Nikes, Vans, Timberlands or any other brand of shoe. Customers can shop by shoe brand, style, artist or price.

You can think of it a bit like an Etsy for custom sneakers. Right now, there are about 40 artists featured on the site that offer more than 5,000 different shoes. The platform is entirely open, meaning any artist can sign up to sell their shoes.

That means the prices can vary, but the cheapest shoe you can buy right now costs $110 and the most expensive one costs upwards of $1,000. The Custom Movement processes the payments but artists handle the shipping.

In exchange for the platform, The Custom Movement takes a 10% commission on the sales price of the shoe. Down the road, the startup wants to help artists more easily manage their inventory and shipping processes. And, in the event something goes wrong with the order, The Custom Movement fully protects buyers.

Growing up in the Philippines, The Custom Movement founder Akshar Bonu’s experience of sneaker culture was different from people who grew up in the United States, he told gpgmail.

“I went to a high school where we had to wear uniforms, so the only real article of clothing we had control over was our shoes,” Bonu said. “It’s my form of self-expression that I had growing up. What was interesting in the Philippines and high school, there wasn’t this monoculture around what people should wear. I’ve always been interested in unique shoes that help me express myself.”

Design by Nate Rivera, one of the artists of The Custom Movement.

When Bonu came to the U.S. for college, he was introduced to limited release culture and “shoes defined by what everyone else wanted,” he said. “That was a huge contrast to my experience with sneakers back in the Philippines. I found the sneaker culture and limited release culture a bit problematic.”

That’s because, he said, it’s really hard to get the shoes and then if you get them, there’s some incentive to resell them at a price that is hundreds of dollars higher than what you bought them for. There are even sites like StockX and GOAT that are entirely dedicated to reselling sneakers.

“The full experience led me to feel like there has to be a place where we can get super original, creative shoes without breaking the bank,” he said. “I ended up finding them across Instagram with independent artists buying Air Force ones and customizing it. They were drawing on them or changing fabrics. It was amazing. This is where I found this new pool of creativity. Some of the artists resonated with me in a way that a big brand like Nike never could.”

That’s where the idea for The Custom Movement originated. Since joining Y Combinator, the startup has shifted from enabling people to describe what they were looking for to instead having artists put up the designs they were willing to make. All of the shoes are made to order, which enables more artists who don’t have the means to stockpile shoes upfront in order to participate.

“Our youngest artist is 15 years old,” Bonu said. “One thing that keeps us going is we get to enable this generation of sneakerheads who have previously just been spectating in the culture to now participate in it, as opposed to having it all come top-down from Nike. Everything we think about is how do we make it easier for more people to design sneakers and help them grow.”

Prior to Y Combinator, The Custom Movement raised a small amount of funding from Pear Ventures, which has backed startups like DoorDash, Gusto and Branch Metrics. In the near term, The Custom Movement is hoping to help its customers more easily find the designs that resonate with them.

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