Rent the Runway, before rumored IPO, ditches registration requirement of clothing resale

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Limiting resale to clients may have appeared like a good perk of Hire the Runway's service a few years ago. After all, locking customers into recurring repayments has proven to come to be fruitful for most e-commerce players, perhaps even more so through the pandemic.

At the moment, however, it seems unwise to limit opportunities in the rocketing secondhand apparel industry.

Early concerns that concern with germs could undermine sales of applied clothing throughout a pandemic quickly dissipated last year as growth ongoing apace. Actually, in a blog page post, Hire the Runway Co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman observed that, in March this past year, subscribers began buying used items at twice their typical rate, which she stated demonstrated "an acceleration in buyer comfortability with and demand for browsing secondhand."

Apparel resale site ThredUp last year said it again expects the market to attain $64 billion by 2024, with $28 billion via traditional thrift and donation and $36 billion coming from resale. It's a profitable segment that is more and more hard to dismiss. This week, industry Etsy, after announcing ideas to acquire resale site Depop for $1.6 billion, vaulted atop an elite pantheon of e-commerce players, above famous brands Apple and, according to a good scorecard from analytics organization GlobalData.

While some environmentalists question precisely how sustainable secondhand clothing sales truly are, specifically in e-commerce, Hyman and others help to make the pitch they are an important aspect of the circular market, something that resonates with Generation Z. Analysts increasingly check out that as a obstacle to fast style and an indicator of a potential realignment in outfits retail.

Close to fifty percent (46.8%) of Gen Z individuals are influenced by how sustainable goods are, in comparison to over a third of baby boomers, according to GlobalData's global first one fourth consumer survey.

"While fast fashion has long been tainted by [environmental and public] concerns, it has not had much effect on revenue," GlobalData U.K. Retail Analysis Director Patrick O'Brien explained in emailed comments. "On the other hand, if famous brands [resale sites] Vinted and Depop continue steadily to grow at the pace they have already been - and a far more reflective attitude to purchasing fashion becomes extra widespread - then your structure of the retail marketplace could be considerably altered over the next decade."

By beginning its resale substitute for a wider audience, Hire the Runway, previously a disruptor because of its core rental proposition, is apparently betting upon this shift.

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