Rent the Runway Gets Rid of Unlimited Rental Option

Rent the Runway’s unlimited rental option has been canceled.

According to an open letter penned by CEO Jennifer Hyman, the fashion rental platform is overhauling its membership plans. Along with the retirement of its “Unlimited Swap” subscription option, the company is debuting a new structure next week that allows customers to pick up four, eight or 16 items each month.

At $89, the four-item plan, previously known as “1 Swap,” will continue to offer one shipment a month of mostly casual, weekend and workwear pieces that cost up to $350 per item. On the other hand, the eight-item plan, which is $135 monthly and was formerly called “2 Swap,” will provide access to all designers and two shipments a month, including special occasion pieces and premium styles with a retail value of up to $3,500.

The new 16-item plan, which will cost $199 a month, offers full closet access and four shipments a month. The company’s executive chief added that as of next week it would no longer accept new members into the “Unlimited Swap” plan, which will be phased out early next year.

“While we pioneered clothing rental and brought it to the mainstream, our members have turned it into a lifestyle and the movement it is today. And as even more women across the country join the rental revolution, we’ve been hearing directly that members want to pick a plan that’s right for their life right now,” Hyman wrote in the letter. “The goal of our new membership structure is to provide customers with a flexible plan that can adapt seamlessly to their changing lifestyles, needs and budgets, with price points that reflect the number of styles received per month.”

As part of the plan, Rent the Runway’s new customers will be able to receive a replacement shipment at no extra charge within the first two months of membership. What’s more, they can create their next shipment before their returns are scanned back in — a feature that the company said is its “most requested” from members.

In the letter, Hyman wrote that, even prior to the COVID-19 health crisis, 70% of Rent the Runway’s “Unlimited Swap” members were renting fewer than eight items per month at the charge of $159. Only 6% of the program’s members were renting 16 or more items per month.

“We believe that when a member is in the right plan that matches their needs and budget, they’ll stay with us longer and keep renting — helping us on our mission to reduce clothing waste and build a better future for fashion,” the exec added.

The announcement comes a month after Rent the Runway announced the closures of its five units in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. In a statement, president and COO Anushka Salinas said that the permanent shutdowns was “something we had long considered as part of the evolution of our overall business strategy” and was “a decision we accelerated during the pandemic.”

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