You can’t beat the feeling of receiving a package filled with goodies in the mail, so it’s no wonder start-ups are turning from the inbox to the mailbox. Unsurprisingly, the subscription economy is becoming the business model du jour.
Services such as BirchBox and GlossyBox, where subscribers receive a monthly delivery of high-end beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples and Graze and Abel&Cole, at-home food delivery, prove the concept works. But in a post-Amazon world, creating a commerce brand using the subscription model is a huge feat. Now, three Hackney-based students are taking the opportunity to launch JoggBox, the UK’s first subscription box entirely dedicated to runners and aspiring athletes.
Launched just last week, JoggBox combines this new e-commerce model to running – an industry worth nearly twice as much as football, according to Bloomberg.
In the past 20 years, the running market has grown by 500 per cent. “It’s a huge and expanding market, more and more people are running on a daily basis. It’s a way for them to empty their head and release stress”, says Antoine Vayson, who, along with Alexis Gagnaire, 24, and Priscila Dantas, 21, founded JoggBox in January and ooze entrepreneurial drive from every pore.
Vayson, 22, and Gagnaire, both completing their masters degree in finance at Grenoble’s School of Management, London campus, saw how subscription boxes for athletes were booming in the United States, and took the opportunity to do the same thing here.
“More people are aiming at getting healthy and fit and drinking their green juices. It’s an engaging trend”, says Dantas, who is about to graduate from a Media and Communications degree at Goldsmiths, University of London.
But if you thought running was just a question of going outside and putting one foot in front of another, you are, like many of us, out of step. As a runner you are what you spend. The box includes anything and everything that caters to a joggers needs, from protein bars and supplements to information, advice and fitness gadgets.
What makes JoggBox different from simply walking into a high-street shop is not only the luxury of having it delivered to your front door, but also the one-to-one approach the company takes with its prospective clients.
Vayson says they aim to reach out to those who already consume their favourite, trusted brands and products as well as those who are new to the world of fitness – which can be intimidating at times. “Our clients may not necessarily be buying fitness supplements or products, so walking into Holland&Barrett or another health shop and seeing 3 kg tubs of protein powder with pictures of bodybuilders can be off-putting”, he says.
As for those who are into these types of products, JoggBox would serve them too. “We want our client to focus on maximizing and improving their running and athletic goals, not wasting time shopping for nutritional products or fitness accessories”, says Gagnaire, explaining that they are targeting a consumer-conscious, young, cosmopolitan audience who’s daily schedules don’t permit them much free time.
“In the future it will be a real development point for us to try and customize each box to different fitness profiles”, explains Vayson, who adds that they are looking to create a gluten-free box as well as one personalized for triathletes.
As of now the venture is still in the initial phases, looking for subscribers as well as suppliers – something which they will be doing at the Be:Fit London trade show. The three entrepreneurs realize that the opportunity for diversity lies with the products, too.
“Big, established brands are already well known and have a loyal customer base. We’re reaching out to smaller, independent labels that are launching new, specialized products targeted to a more particular niche”, says Vayson.
“This will also allow brands to reach new costumers, making it profitable for everyone”, adds Gagnaire.
Everything from designing the website, marketing, and even boxing and shipping the packages is done entirely the team from their Shoreditch apartment. They also personally research their own products, taking the role of guinea pigs for the products they will be selling, “If it works for me, then it will definitely work for you”, kids Dantas.
JoggBox will be able for preorder starting May. For more information visit their website.