Rent the Runway cuts unlimited membership plan
Designer clothing rental service Rent The Runway has announced that it is discontinuing its unlimited swap membership in favor of a new pricing structure allowing subscribers to rent four, eight or 16 pieces a month.
The changes were announced via an open letter from Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jenn Hyman, parts of which were published on the company’s Instagram account on Thursday.
Up until now, RTR subscribers could choose between three membership options: an $89-per-month four-item plan allowing members to swap items once a month, a $135 eight-item plan with two monthly swaps, and a $159 unlimited plan which entitled subscribers to rent four items at a time, but with unlimited swaps.
According to the open letter, RTR will no longer be accepting new unlimited swap members as of next week. Existing subscribers with the plan will be able to continue using it until early 2021.
The service’s new pricing options still include the $89 four-item plan with one monthly swap, and the $135 eight-item plan with two monthly swaps. The unlimited membership, however, has been replaced with a new $199 16-item plan allowing four swaps a month.
The four-item plan offers customers “basic closet access,” which principally includes casual, weekend and workwear pieces, while the more expensive tiers allow subscribers to rent a wider range of clothes, including eventwear and premium styles.
“With this evolution, the majority of members will pay less for membership,” said Hyman. “The goal of our new structure is to provide customers with a flexible plan that can adapt seamlessly to changing lifestyles, needs and budgets – with price points that reflect the number of styles received per month.”
According to the executive, 70% of RTR’s unlimited swap members were renting fewer than eight items a month, while only 6% were renting 16 items or more. The new pricing options are therefore conceived to be more closely aligned with the ways in which subscribers use the service.
Other new features announced by RTR include the ability to create a new shipment before the previous one has been returned, allowing for faster turnaround times, while new members will be able to take advantage of a free replacement shipment within the first two months of subscribing.
The changes come as RTR continues efforts to contain the negative impact of Covid-19 on its business. As a service best known for its event and workwear offering, the company has suffered due to shelter-in-place restrictions implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With comfortable work-from-home-wear being prioritized over smarter pieces for the office or the street, many of RTR’s subscribers have chosen to put their accounts on hold.
In March, the company announced that it was temporarily closing its brick-and-mortar locations and furloughing its retail associates. In August, however, the closures were made permanent and furloughed employees were laid off.
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