Fashion rental marketplace Rent the Runway has been hit hard by the pandemic. Many of our subscribers rented costumes to wear at in-person events. But the company survived by cutting costs, renegotiating contracts with suppliers, and entering the clothing resale market. We are expanding that aspect of our business again by bringing some of our exclusives to Amazon.
On Thursday, Amazon announced the launch of its Rent the Runway Amazon Fashion storefront. The storefront features a curated selection of pre-worn fashion products from over 35 brands in a variety of styles. These worn items have been inspected, cleaned and refurbished, nothing to affect the physical integrity of the garment, but may have minor imperfections.According to Amazon, Customers offers “weekend wear, workwear, date-night apparel, and seasonal essentials such as sweaters, tops, coats, and denim.”
This isn’t the first time Rent the Runway has partnered with other retailers to help unload worn items.
The fashion subscription service survived 2020 by partnering with thredUP, a resale marketplace for previously rented designer clothing collections called “Revive by Rent the Runway,” and Nordstorm Rack. Last year, Rent the Runway also started working with Saks Off 5th. Saks Off 5th has agreed to sell his Rent the Runway vintage clothing on the site. Additionally, Rent the Runway itself sells used clothes on his own website to customers who don’t have a subscription.
Rent the Runway not only brings used clothing to Amazon, but also offers a selection of “Design Collective” products through Amazon Fashion. These limited-edition fashion collections are created by design talent, including names like Thakoon and Peter Som, using insights from Rent the Runway’s proprietary data and customer base. Other designers include Adam Lippes, Marina Moscone and more, and in sizes 00-22 he offers 1,000 styles (but actual sizes may vary depending on availability).
With this launch, Amazon Fashion will be the first retailer to carry new, unused Design Collective merchandise outside of Rent the Runway itself.
Select Design Collective items will also be available through Amazon Prime’s “Try Before you Buy” service, which allows you to try on and return at home.
The move is another way Rent the Runway is looking to grow in the post-pandemic market. Covid could have easily completely destroyed Rent the Runway’s business, and for a while things looked dire. In 2020, the company’s active subscribers fell from 133,000 to 55,000, losses widened, and its stock price crashed. It was just a year after his IPO of Rent the Runway.
To our credit, the business weathered Covid and returned to growth in recent earnings. In the third quarter of 2022, Rent the Runway beat Wall Street expectations with quarterly earnings of $77.4 million, while analysts expected him to make $72.9 million. Active subscribers increased 15% year-over-year to 134,240, and the annual financial outlook was raised from 293 million to 295 million. (The company says its partnership with Amazon is already factored into these projections.)
“Collaborating with Amazon Fashion gives Rent the Runway incredible brand recognition,” said Jenn Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, in a statement. . “We believe that strategic relationships like this can ignite new growth engines for our business. We empower you to experience data-driven, exclusive fashion from our top design partners.”
For Amazon, on the other hand, the partnership will allow the retail giant to dabble in another area of fashion resale without investing in setting up its own resell market. To date, Amazon has provided a way for consumers to browse curated pre-owned items through her Amazon Renewed site, which does not include women’s fashion. The alternative is to buy second-hand consumer electronics such as mobile phones and smartwatches, as well as tools, cameras, gaming gear, and other home, kitchen, and entertainment items.
Resale of fashion through partners, including Shopbop’s “pre-loved” editorial and What Goes Around Comes Around branded stores with Amazon’s Luxury Stores, which focus on pre-owned handbags, jewelry, accessories and designer apparel investment in is small.
“At Amazon Fashion, we continually expand our product offerings through strategic relationships with brands to inspire and delight our customers,” said Muge Erdirik Dogan, president of Amazon Fashion, in a release. increase. “The Rent the Runway collection continues to expand the beloved designer’s fashion offering.”
Starting today, customers will be able to browse and purchase from the Rent the Runway branded store via amazon.com/stores/renttherunway. Products are eligible for free shipping on Prime and can be returned through Amazon, not through Rent the Runway stores.