Rent the Runway subscribers will be able to drop off rented clothes at a handful of Nordstrom locations, as more digitally-native brands seek to extend a physical footprint at established retailers.

Why it matters

  • Rent the Runway plans to scale its drop off points at Nordstrom well beyond the initial four in Los Angeles. This mirrors its partnership with WeWork, where its drop off points now number 19 after initially launching 15 in October 2018. So far, WeWork has increased RTR’s number of returns (and therefore its number of rentals) by 180%. (If this is true, it’s a staggering increase in liquidity from opening less than two dozen drop off points in a handful of U.S. cities.)

  • Returns are a major hurdle for online brands today, but for a company that’s built on them, RTR is forging partnerships with companies that not only align with its customers but make renting more convenient and faster, as well as heighten brand visibility, which can help with acquisition. Additionally, if the brand’s Unlimited service is RTR’s future, more drop off points will help subscribers squeeze even more out of their memberships.

  • Amazon is pursuing a similar tactic at Kohl’s, where its customers now can make returns at all 1,150 locations, up from 100 in April 2019.