Rent it, wear it, love it, buy it


Rebecca Minkoff is today one of the first designer brands to offer products for hire alongside new items at full price. The technology rental service is made possible by a loan button on the e-commerce site and a partnership with CaaStle.

Users can rent and wear the styles as many times as they like during the rental period for 25% of the retail price. If they fall in love with a rental item, they can choose to purchase it at a reduced price at any time. At the end of the prepaid period, customers can either return the items or continue to rent them for a daily fee to extend the rental. Daily charges are applied as a reduction on any purchase price. If the daily charge paid is equal to the purchase price, the consumer will own the item without any penalty.

Uri Minkoff, Rebecca’s brother and business partner, said in an exclusive interview that he has been thinking about renting clothes for some time. “I wanted to understand how to ease the friction of customers accessing the products,” he said. “How can you provide this stamp. We are delighted that a customer browsing the website can use a style that they can rent. The timing is perfect in light of the market. Women haven’t bought their spring wardrobe and are under a budget for clothes now. This can lower the barrier to entry. “

“It’s about giving the customer the best product they want with fintech solutions or buying it straight and buying it full price,” said Christine Hunsincker, Founder and CEO of CaaSTLE. “There is coverage on all styles on the site and we worked with the team to go to great lengths. How often does she hold a product and how often does she buy it when she holds it at home? We believe that by living in styles, she won’t want to part with them. These will be purchased and kept permanently. We will see how she behaves and what she likes. We are very determined to read the data. “

“We started to see brands over the last year saying, ‘Take this product and try it before you buy it’. This is another way to get something easily. Although there is increased activity in stores, we believe there has been a fundamental shift in customer behavior towards the Internet, ”Minkoff said, referring to changes in consumer purchasing preferences due to of the Covid-19 pandemic. He said it was too early to know how the economics of renting versus buying will play out.

“For anyone, the bulk of last year was an explosive category,” Minkoff said. “There may have been some apprehension about woven dresses and outerwear. It remains to be seen how quickly this accelerates. “

Minkoff cited the sustainability benefits of renting: a litter-free wardrobe, as renting extends the life of clothes by renting out to all customers, versus buying and wearing what happens. found in your closet several times. “We’re doing less of each product because that item can be rented three, four, five or six times,” he says. “We will learn from the customer.”

Although Minkoff is known for its handbags, they were not part of the rental program’s beginnings. The main reason is that CaaStle is not designed to handle handbags. “We are able to get the product into their hands now,” Hunsicker said of the apparel. “We are dealing with more clothing today. We will handle more features like handbags and jewelry. It’s an interesting conversation. Handbags retain their value over time to drive purchases. Does this make sense in the rental economy? Additionally, Minkoff said customer Rebecca Minkoff buys four handbags a year from the company.

“We’re pushing Christine and CaaStle to launch handbags,” Minkoff said. “There are several ways to do it. We will be launching handbags later this year. The obvious things at first are more expensive items like coats and woven dresses. We set up a sample to see what people like and what they are responding to. “

Minkoff and Hunsicker said the technology used to facilitate rental is fairly straightforward. On the backend, Rebecca Minkoff ships an assortment to the CaaStle warehouse. When there is a match, for example, a woven dress in a certain color and size, and a customer on Minkoff’s e-commerce site becomes increasingly biased for the item, the checkout button appears. Just like you might have a sale around a particular style or type of stimulus. Once she taps Borrow, the transaction and sale are sent to CaaStle for execution.

While a style is not immediately available for Borrow, availability will change as items are returned, so if the Borrow button doesn’t appear for a customer’s size today, she may try again. tomorrow.

“It’s magic. [The system] is aware of the inventory, ”Hunsicker said. “The button only appears when we have an exact match for the item, instead of showing the button all the time and saying ‘Oops, we don’t have it. “

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