Excerpts from an article by Abha Bhattarai in The Washington Post
Beginning Monday, Rent the Runway is expanding its subscription program for everyday items, including pants, jackets and sweaters, with a new option that allows customers to rent four items each month for a flat rate of $89. A service the company began last year offers up to four items at a time, with no monthly limit, for $159 per month.
The idea, says chief executive Jennifer Hyman, is to help women pare down their wardrobes. Instead of buying new items each season, they can rent them — and then ship them back when they’re done.
“There is so much waste when it comes to the closet — most women doesn’t use 80 or 85 percent of what they have,” she said in an interview. “What we offer is newness and variety.”
The average Rent the Runway user is 33 years old, and 90 percent of them are working professionals clustered in large cities.
And there is room to grow, the New York company says. Its inventory has doubled year over year to about 450,000 pieces, Hyman said, and traffic to its stores is up 120 percent this year. Rent the Runway, valued at nearly $1 billion, had $100 million in sales last year.
And as more women sign up for the service, they’re starting to use it in new ways, Hyman says. Over the summer, she began to notice that customers were increasingly stopping by Rent the Runway stores on their way to work, to pick out new outfits for that day. Many of those women said they were using the rental service to help them get dressed 10 or 15 days each month, she said.
Read the full article in The Washington Post
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