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Cusp Of A Paradigm Shift? Signet Leaps Into Jewelry Rental Category |  April 07, 2021 (0 comments)


Akron, OH— Whether it’s renting an expensive vacation house, paying $50 for a glass of rare whisky, or buying a coveted brand on the secondhand market, consumers, especially Millennials and Gen-Z, have been eagerly tapping luxury experiences—but without the full luxury price tag. 

This has driven the success of both rental and resale of high-end goods. To date, rental hasn’t been a huge part of the retail jewelry scene like it has for other categories such as handbags or watches, but that’s potentially about to change.

Related: The Trend You Should Be Jumping On—Or At Least Seriously Considering

As part of the next phase of its turnaround plan, Signet Jewelers has acquired Rocksbox, a monthly jewelry subscription rental platform that allows customers to rent pieces of jewelry for a month, then exchange them for something different or buy them outright. 

Rocksbox was launched in 2012 by Meghan Rose, who was inspired by Sephora’s “try before you buy” concept. For $21 a month, subscribers can rent up to three pieces of fashion jewelry by brands such as Kate Spade or Kendra Scott. 

The idea of renting designer clothing and accessories first gained popularity with websites like Rent The Runway and Bag, Borrow, or Steal. RTR lets customers rent a designer gown for a fancy event, while Bag, Borrow or Steal, which allows customers to rent an ultra-high end handbag for a month or more. And the Breitling Select rental program offers three watches over the course of 12 months. Costs for these rentals aren’t cheap—Breitling Select, for instance, is $129 per month and a one-time subscription fee of $450 to access three watches per year—but still far less than the cost of ownership. 

The Breitling Select program allows customers to rent three factory-refurbished watches per year.

As major retailers like Bloomingdales, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and the URBN brands (Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People) began losing ground to rental and resale sites, they got into the game themselves.

Signet also sees the potential in the rental market, observing that it is “currently underdeveloped,” and offers an additional point of entry for self-purchasing women. The acquisition comes on the heels of the company’s announcement of its intentions to expand its reach both upscale into affordable luxury and downscale into the value segment and its increasing focus on digital channels. 

Related: As Signet Successfully Expands Beyond Mall Mainstay to E-Commerce, Its Next Goal Is Affordable Luxury And Designer Jewelry

 “With jewelry rental subscription, Signet will tap into a highly engaged customer base, generate a new revenue stream, and bring yet another capability into its connected-commerce strategy, which is focused on serving customers whenever, wherever and however they want to engage with Signet and its retail banners,” said the company in a statement.

With the acquisition, Meghan Rose will join Signet, reporting to CEO Virginia “Gina” Drosos. 

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