San Francisco, CA—Sometimes the best defense against disruption is to join the disruptor. Upscale retailers that started as online operations only—such as Bonobos, Warby Parker, and Design Within Reach—have opened physical stores, while Nordstrom went the opposite way and acquired flash-sale site Haute Look.
Now, as the sharing economy grows, retailers are wondering how to convert Millennials—short on both attention span and cash—into customers who want to own luxury, not just borrow it. Again, finding them where they live seems to be the best route to their hearts: this article in Women’s Wear Daily says Neiman Marcus will be opening a Rent The Runway shop in its San Francisco store, with plans for several more across the country. RTR is a seven-year-old company that specializes in renting designer clothes, originally formal wear but now anything with a tony label.
According to the article, NM hopes the RTR outlet will bring in younger (and likely less affluent) shoppers that will later convert to full-line shoppers as their income and desire for luxury grows. Meanwhile, the RTR shop will occupy 3,000 square feet formerly given over to children’s and home goods, and will be peppered with NM goods for sale, predominantly shoes, bags, cosmetics, and lingerie. It also will accept returns and exchanges from RTR customers and will offer the services of a stylist.
Top image: renttherunway.com