First Look: Rent the Runway’s Largest Brick and Mortar Yet

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First Look: Rent the Runway’s Largest Brick and Mortar Yet

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 05/09/2019

Fashion rental retailer Rent the Runway (RTR) is pushing harder into the brick and mortar with the opening of its largest store yet.  

The 8,300-square-foot West Coast Flagship is its fifth location. RTR said it chose 228 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA, for its latest locale as the city is its third largest subscription market.

The new store has been built with Rent the Runway’s proprietary technology powering the store experience to enable a seamless experience for customers. Tech-first experiences include RTR Drop-Off, which allows customers to return rented items within a few seconds, RTR Self-Service checkout, which enable subscribers to check out with their RTR Pass on their phone, and the new RTR Pick-Up Station, which allows customers to pick up orders without having to wait in line. Self-service checkout and drop-off stations are placed for convenience and the instant service pick-up window was added to dramatically increase the speed at which members are able to pick up their orders in-store.

Tech-first experiences include RTR Drop-Off, which allows customers to return rented items within a few seconds and RTR Self-Service checkout, which enable subscribers to check out with their RTR Pass on their phone.

The two-floor store features additional perks for its brick and mortar shoppers beyond speedy pickup and drop-off. The second floor features the majority of the store’s clothing and accessories and will serve as the hub for RTR Unlimited Members, stocked with more than 3,000 items merchandised on a daily rotation, ranging from casual to business attire, festive to weekend wear, accessories and more. The floor also features appointment fitting rooms for RTR Reserve customers to try on and rent dresses for special events and formal occasions.

The third, upper floor serves as a lounge and co-working space featuring RTR’s first-ever “Beauty Bar” as well brand’s first communal dressing room, designed to cultivate community through clothes with the physical manifestation of the shared closet in a spacious try-on experience that supports social interaction. RTR will host unique programming and networking events in the space specifically catered to women, spotlight peers in the entrepreneurial and tech community, allow for like-minded brands to pop-up, and serve as a comfortable space for those who need a place to work during the day.

The store houses a beauty bar to make getting ready on-the-go easier.

The work and lounge spaces offer free WiFi and feature furniture from Williams-Sonoma's West Elm. The two brands partnered this year to allow subscribers to rent soft home décor. There is also a complimentary coffee bar with refreshments provided exclusively by Australian café cult-favorite, Bluestone Lane.

Additionally, the store houses a beauty bar exclusively featuring Dyson hair care technology, including the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer and Dyson Airwrap styler, Amika hair products, and Juice Beauty skincare products to make getting ready on-the-go easier.

The flagship was designed by Alda Ly Architecture and Hilary Koyfman, an all-female design team that also collaborated on The Wing and Parsley Health. In honor of the launch, Rent the Runway hosted a panel for members featuring RTR COO Maureen Sullivan, Rothy’s President & COO Kerry Cooper, Levi’s CMO Jen Sey, Allbirds CMO Julie Channing and ThredUp Head of Brand Jenna Bray, moderated by Business of Fashion reporter Elizabeth Holmes.