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Ralph Lauren courts younger market with launch of luxury apparel rental scheme

The Lauren Look: luxury rental for a more sustainable market (Image: Ralph Lauren)

Ralph Lauren joins a growing number of luxury retailers looking to tap into a burgeoning interesting in designer brands with the launch of a subscription-based apparel rental scheme.

Starting at $125 a month, members of the ‘Lauren Look’ will be their favourite pieces from the brand’s most recent lines and then receive ongoing shipments based on those preferences. Customers will have the choice to buy items or send them back before receiving a new shipment.

The subscription service also includes expert suggestions from expert stylists, as well as free unlimited shipping and returns and dry cleaning.

Once the used clothes have reached their rental cap, they will be donated to non-profit charity Delivering Good, which provides low-income consumers with new and newly new merchandise.

“The Lauren Look allows us to explore an entirely new model tapping into the growing focus on the sharing economy and revolutionizing how we look at fashion consumption,” says Ralph Lauren’s chief innovation and branding officer David Lauren. “Launching with Lauren, our most widely distributed and accessible brand, is a testament to the growth we see in this space and will help us further anticipate the evolving needs and makeup of our consumers’ future closet.”

The move comes as luxury retailers look to reverse a catastrophic collapse in retail sales during the pandemic. According to research by RetailX in its latest Luxury Sector Report, while 2019 was a bumper year for the luxury sector – with the world’s Top 100 luxury goods companies generating revenues of €231.5bn – as the coronavirus swept across the world in 2020, the luxury sector’s success began to plummet – with sales shrinking by 23% back to €217bn in total value

To grow, luxury brands need to invest in digital to keep up with locked down consumers’ changing shopping habits. They also need to look at how to appeal to Gen X, Y and Z shoppers to drive growth in the years ahead.

This move by Ralph Lauren taps into this shift to younger, online shoppers, as well as courting their increasing interest in sustainable and ethical fashion and a love of recommerce.

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