Rent the Runway is Taking Clothes-sharing Mainstream

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This article may be news to you but Kurt Cavano of Infor demonstrated this online app realtime at our Annual Conference in May 2014. He also showed nearly 3 dozen others online apps 4 years ago. THAT is our goal, to stay ahead of the curve…….

Rent the Runway is taking clothes-sharing mainstream
Some women pick up outfits on the way to work, others have stopped buying clothes entirely

Turnaround is quick. The blouse is sent to washing machines, the gown goes to one of the 75 seamstresses lined up next to a wall of thread, zippers, buttons and other adornments in every imaginable colour and the silk dress makes its way to the “spotters”: experts who know how to get tough stains out of delicate fabrics. Most items are in and out in less than a day.

Such efficiency is essential for Rent the Runway, a New York-based, privately-owned startup with a value of almost $800m that rents out clothes, handbags and jewellery. Its dry-cleaning warehouse is the world’s biggest, processing 2,000 items per hour. RTR started with formal dresses that women rented for weddings and other events. Now nearly three-quarters of its 9m clients across America use it for work clothes. For $159 a month, its “unlimited” and most expensive plan, subscribers can rent four items at any one time.

Constant novelty seems to outweigh the “yuck” factor of wearing something that rubbed against someone else’s skin not long ago. Some two-fifths of American women who have heard of the service (or any of its younger competitors) say they would be willing to rent outfits. Renting a ball gown when an occasion arises runs at about a sixth of what it would cost to buy it. Cleaning and insurance for minor damages are always included. Read More

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