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Dive Brief:

  • Saks Off 5th on Thursday announced a partnership where customers can buy pre-owned designer items from Rent the Runway on its website, which now features a “pre-owned” section, according to a company press release. 
  • All items on the Saks Off 5th website are deemed “excellent condition” by Rent the Runway and are identified on the website by a Rent the Runway badge.
  • The curated collection from Rent the Runway features styles from over 60 designers, with items priced at up to 85% off.

Dive Insight:

Saks Off 5th customers are ready to purchase secondhand designer clothes. 

In a survey of the off-price retailer’s customers, over 70% off respondents had previously purchased pre-owned clothing, shoes or accessories, and 80% said they would be open to purchasing secondhand items directly from Saks Off 5th. 

“Through this unique relationship with Rent the Runway, we’re introducing new brands, providing exceptional deals and offering pre-owned apparel from a trusted partner that resonates with our customers,” Paige Thomas, president and CEO of Saks Off 5th, said in a statement. 

All items on the Saks Off 5th website are deemed “excellent condition” by Rent the Runway and are identified on the website by a Rent the Runway badge. 

Shoppers overall have responded positively to purchasing previously-owned apparel. The global secondhand goods market is expected to grow by 24% this year, and is forecast to double by 2026, reaching $82 billion. 

Consumers are especially open to purchasing secondhand in order to stretch their dollar further. Fifty-eight percent of shoppers say that resale has helped them in some way during a time of inflation, per a recent ThredUp survey. A quarter of consumers will consider buying more secondhand apparel if prices continue to rise. 

Rent the Runway, for its part, has been broadening its funnel of potential customers by providing different channels for people to interact with its inventory. That approach is showing promise — in its first quarter earnings the company doubled its revenue year over year to $67.1 million, while its active subscriber base rose 82%. 

On an earnings call with analysts in June, co-founder and CEO Jenn Hyman talked about Rent the Runway’s current approach to marketing, which “doesn’t actually involve paid marketing.” 

“We talked about content. We talked about partnerships. We talked about product improvements that might enhance the virality of our business … this is a really important period of time for us to build the funnel for both current subscribers and subscribers for many years to come,” Hyman said.

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