The online rental platform is launching an Amazon Fashion storefront, it announced Thursday.
On its own website, Rent the Runway already offers discounted pre-worn pieces at the end of their rental cycle from its hundreds of brand partners, including Jason Wu, Sandro and Madewell. The Amazon selection includes styles from about 35 brands. Rent the Runway expects the partnership to serve as both a form of marketing as well as a boost in revenue.
“Collaborating with Amazon Fashion brings Rent the Runway incredible brand awareness,” Jenn Hyman, Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO said in a statement. “We believe strategic relationships like this can ignite a new engine of growth for our business.”
Rent the Runway made a push into resale in 2021, when the company made it possible for non-rental members to purchase items on the “clearance” items on its website.
While consumers have been quick to embrace secondhand fashion, rental is a tougher sell. Rent the Runway had 134,240 active subscribers in the third quarter 2022. That’s compared to 950,000 active buyers on The RealReal in the year ending Sept. 30.
Rent the Runway has narrowed its losses in recent quarters. It expects to break even on adjusted EBTIDA, or earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortisation, in the “near term,” Hyman said in a recent earnings call.
After years of trial and error, rental platforms have found new ways to improve margins and acquire customers, such as focussing on niche categories. Profitability remains elusive, however.