Harrods Launches Rental | BoF

Harrods Launches Rental | BoF

Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, London. Shutterstock.

The British department store is partnering with My Wardrobe HQ, a luxury rental marketplace, as it bets on the return of in-person events and burgeoning consumer demand for occasionwear.

Harrods’ rental edit will sit on My Wardrobe HQ’s website, as well as a pop-up in the department store’s Knightsbridge location. It includes over 1000 statement pieces from the last 12 months by designers including Huishan Zhang, Rotate, Roksanda and Zimmermann, available for customers to rent for four to 14 days or purchase outright. Prices for a four-day rental start at £23 (about $32) for separates, while more unique gowns will cost up to £400.

My Wardrobe HQ will manage the program’s logistics and marketing, while Harrods provides the curation and stock. The platform has previously partnered with other luxury department stores Liberty and Harvey Nichols, though co-founder Sacha Newall calls its tie-up with Harrods a “deeper” partnership, owing to the size of inventory on offer.

Harrods’ foray into rental comes as London’s luxury retailers look to tap into new consumer bases to offset the decline of tourist and commuter footfall over the course of the pandemic. Last year, in a surprise move, Harrods opened an outlet store in West London’s Westfield shopping centre to deal with its glut of inventory built up over lockdown and quarantine restrictions.

The move also speaks to growing consumer and industry-wide interest in more sustainable, circular business models, which rental, resale and repair businesses can help facilitate. Harrods already offers product aftercare and restoration services while Selfridges, another giant of British luxury retail, has also previously experimented with rental and secondhand offerings.

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