Oct 18, 2013
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Rent the Runway teams up with Henri Bendel for brick-and-mortar experience

Oct 18, 2013

Designer dress rental website Rent the Runway is making a foray in brick-and-mortar retailing with a partnership with New York specialty store Henri Bendel. The site has installed a 1400-square-foot showroom at the Henri Bendel flagship store on Fifth Avenue, where customers are able to try on a selection of dresses rentable on the site.

Putting its recent $20 million investment round to good use, Rent the Runway has incorporated the use technology to bring the online rental experience to life. Clients are able to book appointments online and create a style profile with personal information including size, shape and style preferences. Staff at the showroom will be equipped with iPads to scan each dress the customer tries on and add it to their ‘Virtual Closet’.

With designer dresses from brands such as Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier, high quality service is an important component when entering physical retailing. “Henri Bendel is the perfect partner for us to innovate offline as they are also known for the spectacular customer experiences they offer through their stores," said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.

The move is a strategic choice for Limited Brands chain Henri Bendel, which sells only accessories, jewellery and beauty products - all products needed to complement an outfit for a special event. "The Rent the Runway experience perfectly complements the Henri Bendel brand," stated Scott Schramm, senior vice-president of Henri Bendel.

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