Are Rent The Runway’s second-hand clothes the perfect fit for Saks Off 5th?

Discussion
Photo: Rent The Runway
Aug 01, 2022

Saks Off 5th has partnered with Rent The Runway to sell previously-worn and rented fashions via its website, becoming the first off-pricer to enter the resale marketplace.

Off 5th will purchase product from Rent the Runway’s inventory to resell. A dedicated pre-owned section on SaksOFF5TH.com will highlight 60 designer brands from Rent the Runway’s vetted inventory with promised savings of up to 85 percent off original manufacturers’ suggested prices.

The partnership expands Off 5TH’s push into the resale market, which is expanding at twice the rate as the firsthand market. Off 5th in 2020 partnered with LXR, a Montreal-based company that retails and wholesales vintage luxury, to sell pre-owned handbags.

A recent survey of Off 5th customers revealed that more than 70 percent previously purchased pre-owned clothing, shoes or accessories and 80 percent of those customers would like to purchase pre-owned directly from Off 5TH.

The deal adds new brands not previously carried by Off 5th, including BA$SH, Thakoon Collective, Marissa Webb, Prabal Garung and Adam Lippes Collective, as well as expands assortments from existing brands, including Equipment, Tanya Taylor and Derek Lam 10 Crosby. The expanded brands feature many that resonate with younger consumers.

“Our core customer is a ‘trend devotee’, which is actually a younger customer who loves fashion and aspirational brands in the luxury space,” Paige Thomas, president and CEO, Off 5th, told Vogue Business.

Having a pre-owned option also enables Off 5th to tap sustainably-minded customers. Off 5th may explore in-store pre-owned selling in the future.

Asked if selling secondhand merchandise would cannibalize sales of new merchandise, Mr. Thomas told WWD, “I don’t believe so. Our customers look to us for both.”

The partnership helps Rent the Runway reach new customers.

Rent the Runway’s sourcing model also aligns closely with Off 5th‘s because it purchases directly from designer brands versus other resale models that buy from individual consumers. Jennifer Hyman, CEO and co-founder, Rent the Runway, told Forbes, “When you shop resale on our platform it feels more like a traditional luxury commerce experience, because we have depth and breadth of the inventory.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does resale make sense for off-price retailers? Does the Rent The Runway partnership hold more benefits than risks for Saks Off 5th?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"For Off 5th this makes sense – it caters to their current demographic and expands their market to reach sustainably-focused shoppers while diversifying their model."
"It's a way to support sustainability, keep prices down and give consumers more options than may align with their values."
"The target markets for both Off 5th and RTR are extremely similar, so this is a perfect fit."

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9 Comments on "Are Rent The Runway’s second-hand clothes the perfect fit for Saks Off 5th?"


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Joel Goldstein
BrainTrust

Retailers must start to diversify their offerings and this is one way that they can bring something in person that the public would have a hard time doing online. I think as retail continues to innovate we will see more and more changes like this.

Gary Sankary
BrainTrust

I think this makes a ton of sense. Resale has become a hot trend in apparel, and with good reason. It’s a way to support sustainability, keep prices down and give consumers more options than may align with their values, both from the perspective of environmental impact and their stressed budgets. I applaud this move.

Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

Well, there’s an implied choice here, I think: a less expensive version of Saks (traditional high-end), or less expensive versions of modern brands. It’s an interesting choice for the Off-Fifth shopper.

The risk, of course, is that the resale buyers find new designers that Saks doesn’t carry. It changes the shape of their aspirations.

Kathleen Fischer
BrainTrust

For Off 5th this makes sense – it caters to their current demographic and expands their market to reach sustainably-focused shoppers while diversifying their model.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

The target markets for both Off 5th and RTR are extremely similar, so this is a perfect fit. I’m just curious at what point RTR decides their inventory shouldn’t be rented anymore and is ready for Off 5th to sell.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

RTR’s assortment would be a big improvement over the merchandise I saw last weekend at a local Off 5th.

patrickjacobs
Guest

Re-commerce is a win for everyone and other retailers, like Neiman Marcus with the pre-owned luxury brand FASHIONPHILE, have already capitalized on this model. If off-price retailers offer the same experience customers will come.

Mainly, because they will not need to focus on the integrity of the purchase. Re-sale provides the right inventory at the right price and continues to convert all demographics.

Allison McGuire
BrainTrust

A smart move by Rent the Runway to reach a broader audience and offload inventory. The benefits to Saks Off 5th aren’t as great in my opinion and a risky situation having to buy the inventory. I would think a commission model would have been a better partnership to start with and if successful, then move into purchasing the products.

Anil Patel
BrainTrust

Saks Off 5th has come up with a remarkable idea. People visit stores like TJ Maxx to shop for bargains. As purchasing high-end products at a discount excite them. However, luxurious goods sold at factory outlets or at off-price retail are usually of lower quality and are specifically made for this market. On the contrary, at Saks Off 5th genuine luxury products will be available at a lower price. Therefore, it’s a great proposition for buyers. It doesn’t matter that the available products are “second-hand” as long as they are not damaged. So definitely it’s a great opportunity for all the aspirational buyers. The only question here that remains unanswered is “How will luxury brands perceive this concept?” since their USP revolves around presenting exclusive products at premium prices. So, will the concept dilute the luxury brands? We will have to wait and see how the complete picture unfolds.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"For Off 5th this makes sense – it caters to their current demographic and expands their market to reach sustainably-focused shoppers while diversifying their model."
"It's a way to support sustainability, keep prices down and give consumers more options than may align with their values."
"The target markets for both Off 5th and RTR are extremely similar, so this is a perfect fit."

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