Neiman Marcus Partners Up with Rent the Runway to Bring Consumers Low-Commitment Occasionwear


You know what they say, opposites attract. And when it comes to partnerships, that can actually turn into something beneficial to both parties. Case in point? Neiman Marcus has announced recently announced online designer rental company Rent-The-Runway as the newest addition to its brick and mortar stores.

They make an odd couple… 

Rent the Runway is an online alternative for shoppers looking to rent beautiful designer duds, as opposed to buying them in places like, say, Neiman Marcus. This type of short-term commitment shopping has become increasingly popular, especially amongst millennials, as consumers tend to be reluctant about shelling out the big bucks when it comes to something they will likely only wear once.

Neiman Marcus, a high-end retailer of racks upon racks of designer clothes, shoes, and accessories, is known to carry items that can run shoppers a rather hefty bill. As Neiman Marcus began seeing their customer base declining, especially within the millennial category, they took an out-of-the-box approach regarding partnership. “We applaud Neiman Marcus for their bold acceptance of our unique model in the interest of catering to the shifting needs and expectations of the modern woman,” said Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway. “We believe that our partnership marks a major structural change within the retail industry, demonstrating that renting is a smart complement to ownership in an increasingly access-oriented world.”

The partnership kicked off on Friday, November 18th, in San Francisco, California, home to Rent the Runway’s highest concentration of customers. Neiman Marcus has granted Rent The Runway 3,000 sq. ft. of prime retail space within their brick and mortar store which features a rotating selection of designer clothing and accessories, all available to rent. All of the inventory will be curated and replenished by Rent the Runway’s catalog of over 400 designers. The e-tailer will also be offering a variety of in-person services. Neiman Marcus will have its own representation alongside the rentals with their own selection of shoes, handbags, undergarments, and cosmetics.

…but it works!

While from afar this partnership may not seem like a good match, it does bring benefits to both parties involved. Rent the Runway is represented and hosted in a well known, icon department store, which will only increase their volume of rentals, and Neiman Marcus gets a whole new demographic of shoppers into their store, who hopefully will stick around and pick up other items while there. “Partnering with Rent the Runway’s innovative model combined with their affinity amongst Millennials provides an exciting opportunity for us,” said Karen Katz, president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group. “Together we’re helping the next generation of luxury consumers discover and fall in love with designer fashion.” More locations are planned for 2017. Having a “store within a store” seems to be the trend for iconic department stores to follow. Currently J.C. Penney has a host of brands with in-store locations within their retail space, with Sephora being the most notable. As this trend continues to blur the lines of what makes a successful partnership, shoppers may see more of competitors teaming up to bring them an unmatched shopping experience. Stay tuned!

Jill England

Jill England

Jill likes to share usable information with readers spanning industries such as food, travel, beauty, sports, pets, holistic health, and all things green. She's a curious and avid consumer of information of all kinds to enable continuous learning and sharing.
Jill England