Rise of the rental retailer

We’ve just returned from a raft of trade shows and sustainability has continued to be a consistent theme for many fashion brands. For example, Fashion SVP was awash with factory representatives, both near shore and Far East, boasting of their sustainability credentials. With 50 percent of fast fashion pieces disposed of within a year, it’s also hit the mainstream news and risen up the political agenda. Fashion is in the cross hairs…

With this in mind, we’ve seen quite a few initiatives looking at fashion rental. Yes we know that hiring a ball gown, wedding dress or suit has been popular for decades, but this is about consumers investing in a monthly membership to rent and return their wardrobe staples.

The advantage? Clothing and accessories get a longer shelf life, and at the same time, it also reduces material use and carbon emissions – without alienating consumers who like to continually adopt new trends and styles.

WRAP, the UK’s resource efficiency agency, has identified UK clothing rentals as an innovative business model that is predicted to be worth almost £1 billion. In the U.S., clothes rental has blossomed – Rent the Runway, the e-commerce business for designer dress and accessory rentals, was recently named #5 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 2019 list.

As the CEO of Paris-based Instant Luxe says, “Uber has changed transport, Airbnb accommodation and habits are changing in the luxury goods market too. We are changing our consumption habits from ownership to use. And people are not renting just for special occasions but to treat themselves.”

Make no mistake, fashion rental trends are on an upward trajectory.

As for i.LEVEL, we know that our fashion software solutions – whether it’s stock control, concessions, wholesale, warehousing or distribution – help brands manage and merchandise their stock far more efficiently and effectively. We also know that our bolt-on modules, such as our wholesale customer returns section, play their part too.

Indeed, our customer returns reports allow a fashion brand to analyse hundreds of returns in one data sweep, empowering a brand to quickly implement solutions, especially if one single supplier is at fault. In short, we help brands manage their stock and back-end operations far more effectively.

If you’d like to know more, simply contact us on 01234 761 757 or email . We’d be delighted to demo our solutions either in person or via Skype.


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