Aug 8, 2019
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Bloomingdale's to launch online subscription rental service

Aug 8, 2019

US department store Bloomingdale's has announced it will soon debut an online subscription rental service, as it moves to capitalize on changing consumer trends and shopping behaviors.  


Dubbed "My List at Bloomingdale's," the new initiative will go live from mid-September with a fall ready-to-wear assortment boasting hundreds of women's styles from more than 60 brands and more than 100 exclusive pieces, according to WWD.

Subscribers will be charged $149 a month, with a referral incentive of $25 for every member who joins.

Specific offerings confirmed for the initial selection include labels such as Ramy Brook for dresses, J Brand for denim, Mackage for outerwear and Aqua, Bloomingdale's private brand, for cashmere. Items will be added each week to My List, and each piece is to go through "an extensive cleaning and care process" and be inspected for quality control between uses.

Several brands are also expected to make their debut on a subscription rental platform including Frame.

To join, aspiring subscribers will be asked to browse mylistatbloomindales.com -- a separate website from bloomingdales.com, with its own platform -- and create a list of at least 10 pieces they want to rent, with the ability to prioritize favorites. There will also be a link from the Bloomingdale's site.

Denise Magid, Bloomingdale's executive vice president and general merchandise manager of rtw, bloomingdales.com and concession, commented that "Urbanization has led to people living in smaller homes or apartments with limited space for clothes.

Netflix has changed the way we consume movies, while Uber and Airbnb have made it second nature to share our car rides and our homes. Fashion is no exception and our customer is no exception -- she wants variety, discovery and experience."

She added that in an effort to distinguish the company's subscription service from others in the market, the customer will have the ability to keep the cycle of fashion pieces going constantly, with the option to buy the item on loan if she "falls in love" with it.

The move sees Bloomingdale's become the only department store with a full-fledged subscription rental service, but follows the success of similar services which veer away from the traditional purchase and ownership of fashion items, such as Rent the Runway -- which launched a subscription service called Unlimited in 2016.

Brands and retailers are increasingly looking to gain consumers' loyalty with the launch of fashion rental and home shopping services.

Urban Outfitters launched its rental service Nuuly for $88 a month this summer while Amazon rolled out its "Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe" service, which charges shoppers $4.99 per month for the ability to review at home up to eight pieces selected for them based on their preferences before making a decision to buy an item.

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