Ralph Lauren Wades Into Subscription Retail

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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Ralph Lauren is entering the subscription model with the launch of The Lauren Look.

For $125 per month, consumers can curate items from the most recent Lauren collections, which is the company’s most widely distributed brand. They receive a shipment once their curated closet is complete and favorite pieces are prioritized, and can return them for new pieces or purchase them at member prices.

The company said it’s launching The Lauren Look in response to the way today’s consumers build their personal wardrobes in an increasingly digitally-based retail landscape.

“Consumers today are taking a different approach to experiencing brands and building their wardrobes. The closet of the future will include a mix of new seasonal fashion, unique customized pieces and wardrobe staples, alongside pre-owned and rented clothing. With our timeless aesthetic, we are incredibly well positioned to play across each of these categories,” said Patrice Louvet, president and CEO.

Indeed, while the rental market has faced challenges during the pandemic, a recent RIS report notes that its outlook is bright. David Lauren, Ralph Lauren chief innovation and branding officer, said the effort is letting it explore the growing sharing economy and change how it views fashion consumption.

Tom Caporaso, CEO of loyalty provider Clarus Commerce, noted that many retailers are rethinking their strategies during the pandemic to ensure consumer engagement. The Lauren Look will serve as a key opportunity for the company to connect directly with consumers for deeper insights.

“Around 90% of loyalty professionals recently said enhancing or expanding their loyalty programs is a priority for 2021, and this could be Ralph Lauren's first step towards a loyalty program,” he said, adding that it will be able to collect such consumer data as their monthly preferences for apparel, how they best react to marketing emails or flash sales, and what they want the most from the brand.

Using these insights, the company can tailor its future apparel lines or program updates based on customer feedback to strengthen current and future loyalty.

“Ralph Lauren is also finding a loophole to the decline in physical storefront shopping, offering a ‘try before you buy’ model that really isn’t available across other luxury branded ecommerce stores,” Caporaso added.

The program will also help the company achieve its sustainability goals by extending the lifespan of garments; once clothes have reached the rental cap, they’ll be donated to Delivering Good, a non-profit organization supporting people impacted by poverty and tragedy.

This is also published on CGT. 

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