The designer Rebecca Minkoff. Courtesy.
Instead of launching a rental subscription programme that exists on its own platform — such as Urban Outiftter’s Nuuly or Vince Unfold — Rebecca Minkoff is now offering its customers the ability to “borrow” certain products on its website for 25 percent of their retail value.
Customers will be able to keep the item for two weeks and charged a fee for any additional days. This fee will go toward the full price of the item if the shopper ultimately chooses to keep it for good.
The rental feature is fully integrated with the end consumer’s e-commerce experience, but the backend is powered by rental white label company CaaStle, which will manage the inventory allocated for rental and the logistics of the service.
For Rebecca Minkoff, the one-off rental option allows the brand to be differentiated from the other players that tout monthly rental subscriptions, according to Uri Minkoff, chief executive and co-founder of the label. Another advantage is being able to leverage existing e-commerce customers without having to promote and market a separate platform.
“[It] reduces the friction on all ends and doesn’t commit the customer to a regular, recurring programme every month,” Uri Mikoff told BoF. “The question is, how many of such brand-specific programmes would they take part in?”
Currently, the rental option applies for about one-fourth of the brand’s total styles, with an emphasis on occasionwear pieces such as dresses and outerwear in the fall.
Rental’s future looks increasingly bright, even in the uncertainty of a post-pandemic world. Many other rental platforms have reported a rise in demand as consumers return to the office and socialise with friends again.