Rent the Runway Pauses Customer Acquisition Amid Operations Challenges
Clothing rental service Rent the Runway is temporarily halting accepting new customers or new orders while its tries to fix major operational problems that have caused it to delay or cancel orders, angering legions of its customers. Chief executive Jennifer Hyman told customers in an email on Friday that the delays, which started on Sept. 13, stem from unexpected problems caused by "a significant transformation" it's conducting on its fulfillment operations. The goal is to speed up turnaround time so clothes can be rented again more quickly. Rent the Runway will not be accepting new subscribers or new event rental orders to be delivered before Oct. 15, Hyman wrote.
Total Retail's Take: Rent the Runway has been in crisis mode for the last week or so, as angry customers have taken to social media to voice their complaints about order delays, long customer service wait times, and orders that were never delivered. Given that many Rent the Runway customers are using the service for special events (e.g., weddings, galas, etc.), delays in its supply chain are disastrous to the business and rightly give customers a reason to be upset. The company has offered full refunds as well as compensation of $200 in cash to customers who never received their orders or whose orders were canceled. But that's only a temporary solution, and figures to do little in winning back customers that never received their orders in time for a important event in their lives. This story underscores the importance of a transparent, efficient supply chain. Rent the Runway is learning that lesson the hard way.