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Rent the Runway extends logistics tools to luxury fashion brands

Rent the Runway extends logistics tools to luxury fashion brands
Jennifer Hyman [Photo: Andy Ryan]

Since launching in 2009, Rent the Runway has transformed from an evening-wear rental company to, in cofounder and CEO Jennifer Hyman’s words, a full-service “closet in the cloud,” offering members clothes and accessories for work, proms, weddings, pregnancies, and more. With 9 million members and a new unlimited plan (for $159 per month), Rent the Runway has developed a sophisticated back-end platform that includes tools to manage its inventory and same-day delivery and dry-cleaning services. Now the company is lending that logistics expertise to luxury fashion brands. “We’re opening our capabilities to any retailer that not only wants to monetize their inventory,” says Hyman, “but also access our customer base.”

That means instead of just playing middleman, Rent the Runway will allow customers to rent directly from brands—either through its platform or via a white-label service on their own sites (competitor Gwynnie Bee launched a similar product in March). Hyman sees this as a way for retailers to experiment with new products and solicit customer feedback without making a major manufacturing commitment. It also allows Rent the Runway to leverage that same feedback as it introduces new personalized services, which include a comprehensive wedding concierge program. Offerings such as these have helped Rent the Runway expand its U.S. subscriptions by 150% year over year. “Our goal is that every season, our subscription should provide more value and more optionality,” Hyman says. “People are using us to get dressed every day.”

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