Online rental subscription services for clothing and accessories are on the rise, which means consumers can now get dressed using a virtual, rotating closet through several start-ups. Le Tote, for instance, rents clothing for everyday wear, Gwynnie Bee caters to plus-size women and the Ms. Collection sends users surprise items based on personal style.
Typically these start-ups charge a monthly fee and allow users to wear the clothing for a month, or sometimes an unlimited amount of time. Customers return the clothing without paying shipping or dry-cleaning costs.
It's a model spearheaded by Rent the Runway, which began in 2009 as an online service where users could rent high-end, designer items at a fraction of the retail price, usually for a special event. The Manhattan company has since added two cheaper tiers to its service — an unlimited designer wardrobe for $159 a month and a low-cost option for $89 a month.
By using subscription rental services, consumers have access to thousands of products, more than they would usually be able to afford, at a fixed monthly rate. It gives consumers more value and more choice for a lower price, said Rent the Runway Chief Executive Jennifer Hyman.
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