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Why West Elm works with Rent Runway



On Thursday, West Elm announced a partnership with Leie Runway to offer a selection of pillows, blankets, and rental rental lease for its 10 million members. This will be the first time that West Elm will offer rental products and mark the Clean Runway entrance to the home market. The company has disturbed the fashion industry by offering women designer dresses, tops and jeans rental for $ 159 a month.

For West Elm, owned by Williams-Sonoma ( WSM WSM ]) the partnership will help the brand Lei Runway's younger customer base. Known for its handmade and modern home design, West Elm sees an opportunity to build its brand with existing customers and introduce it to new ones through Rent the Runway. The collaboration will allow it to test the customers' appetite to rent things in their homes using an expert in the room.
  West Elm partnered with Leie Runway to offer a selection of pillows, blankets and covers for rent

Demographic trends have forced traditional brick and mortar retailers such as West Elm and others to adapt their business models. Growing numbers of Americans rent everything from clothing to cars, explained Ari Ginsberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership at NYU's Stern School of Business. And several US households also rent their homes than ever in 50 years, according to Pew.

Starting up furniture such as Fernish and Feather have cut up to draw buyers who change homes often or who do not want to keep their furniture for long periods of time.

Now, big dealers like Crate & Barrel and Ikea are jumping in to appeal to these customers. Crate & Barrel joined Fernish last year, while Ikea tests rental programs abroad.

"You can either join or run over," Ginsberg said. "If you don't, your competitor will come."

Begin this summer, Rent the Runway members will have the opportunity to rent 26 different West Elm bundles of things like throws, shams and quilts. Members can choose how long they want to keep the bundle, and will also get discounted prices if they want to buy it.

"This allows consumers to change their style and appearance without anchor of precious furniture," said Greg Portell, leading global consumer and retail practice partner of AT Kearney, a consultant.


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