Rent the Runway, the premier subscription rental fashion service, will now also be in the business of reselling clothes. The move is a major stepping stone for the platform as it enters into the USD30 Billion resale market.
Shoppers will now be able to purchase or rent used designer clothes from the company. Furthermore, there will be no need for a membership as the company hopes to expand its customer base and facilitate a more enjoyable experience. In the past, only paying members were able to buy used designer items, at a discount.
The novelty emerges as the company strives to recuperate from the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic. Amid the global dilemma, demand for one-off pieces and office wear nearly vanished. Ultimately, reducing the company’s valuation by an outstanding USD250 Million in the blink of an eye.
Nevertheless, the resale market is flourishing. According to predictions from analyst Jefferies, the market produces approximately USD30 Billion annually.
CEO Jennifer Hyman revealed in an interview that “This is another way for customers to engage with us for the first time,” she told Vogue. “There’s a very broad audience of people who want to consume secondhand, but potentially didn’t come to our platform in the past because they weren’t ready to subscribe, or they didn’t have an upcoming party or event.”
Rent the Runway expressed that the move will provide “another engine of growth and a fuller realization of our value proposition.” The launch will establish Rent the Runway as a competitor to other resale marketplaces such as Poshmark, ThredUp, TheRealReal and StockX.
“Because we monetize the product through subscription, by the time we’re selling something, we may have already rented it a few times and made money on it. We don’t have to charge as much as some of our competitors, who only have one opportunity to make their margin. There’s a value to the customer that she’s likely going to find better pricing on our platform,” she said.