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Why Brick-and-mortar Retailers Are Embracing Subscriptions

How traditional businesses are borrowing cues from Amazon Prime

With competition on the rise and the environment ever-challenging, retailers are finding growing appeal in one of the e-commerce industry’s favorite tools: the membership program.

Recently, a number of retailers—including athletic apparel retailer Lululemon and the major pharmacy CVS—have announced new membership strategies, with the goal of improving loyalty as competition for their business picks up and leveraging the biggest advantage retailers often have: their status as a destination.

Lululemon’s program, which at $128 per year costs more than Amazon Prime, will include a mixture of exclusive apparel, free access to events and onsite classes, personal development offerings and free shipping for orders on its website. In other words, the program isn’t just a discount—and the company’s CEO, Calvin McDonald, even sees the potential to increase the price down the line.

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