Rent the Runway Enters the Resale Market
Rent the Runway said Wednesday it is expanding into resale, a major evolution for the fashion rental platform. Customers will soon be able to buy used designer clothes from the business in addition to renting them. No membership will be required, as Rent the Runway looks to broaden its reach and give shoppers more feasible entry points. Previously, only paying members were able to purchase gently used Rebecca Minkoff dresses, Tory Burch tops, and even lululemon leggings from Rent the Runway, at a discount. The company said that getting into the resale market offers “another engine of growth and a fuller realization of our value proposition."
Total Retail's Take: Resale is a hot trend in the retail industry, and primarily for two reasons. One, consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable fashion choices. Rent the Runway noted twice as many customers self-reporting that they’re coming to the platform for sustainable fashion solutions, compared with 15 months ago. The second driving force is that consumers are looking for bargains, particularly coming out of the pandemic, and resale presents them. In addition to the consumer benefits, resale is an attractive option for retailers. The sale of such items generally yields higher profit margins, and the category is growing. The total resale market in the U.S. will be worth more than $33 billion by the end of this year and is on track to top $64 billion by 2024, according to GlobalData. Consumers get a sustainable purchase at a good price, and the retailer, such as Rent the Runway, captures a healthy profit on the sale. Given those dynamics, expect to see more retailers and brands testing resale in the near future.