New York -- Rent the Runway, the popular online retailer specializing in rentals of designer dresses and accessories, has entered into its first brick-and-mortar partnership, opening a 1,400-sq.-ft. showroom in the Henri Bendel Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan.
The in-store shop will feature a rotating selection of dresses and accessories from Rent the Runway's 175 designer brands, allowing women to try on dresses in advance of renting and work directly with a Rent the Runway personal stylist to ensure the best look. Customers will be able to reserve rentals for all upcoming occasions or take their dresses and accessories with them directly.
The showroom combines a personalized shopping experience with innovative technology. Each fitting room will be equipped with a scanner and iPad for the stylist to scan each dress tried on. The item will then upload to the shopper’s "Virtual Closet." Customers can add notes to each dress they try on, and later view their closet at any time Rent the Runway’s website for future reference when booking rentals.
"It's become clear to us at Rent the Runway that our customer is the true go-getter girl – she is smart and busy; she loves fashion but wants it easily and at the highest level of service. Henri Bendel is the perfect partner for us to innovate offline as they are also known for the spectacular customer experiences they offer through their stores," said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway.
Upon arriving at Rent the Runway at Henri Bendel, customers will be greeted by a Go-To Girl, who will provide a one-on-one styling consultation as they try on dresses and work to complete their head-to-toe look for all upcoming occasions.
Following customers' four or eight day rental, they can either return their dresses directly to Rent the Runway at Henri Bendel or send them back via the provided pre-paid mailing envelope.
"The Rent the Runway experience perfectly complements the Henri Bendel brand," stated Scott Schramm, senior VP of Henri Bendel. "Both Henri Bendel and Rent the Runway girls are looking to discover what's new and next in fashion and accessories. Bringing Rent the Runway's online experience to life in our 5th Avenue store is exciting and unexpected. We like to constantly surprise and delight our customers."