Rental clothes business is booming! JC Penney, others joining Urban Outfitters

Rental clothes business is booming! JC Penney, others joining Urban Outfitters

Rental clothes business is booming! JC Penney, others joining Urban Outfitters

A growing number of retailers — including Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic, and Urban Outfitters — are now offering customers the option to rent clothes for a monthly fee instead of buying them. Now a booming $1 billion business, the clothing rental sector is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023.

When combined with resale, it will account for 13% of the total $360 billion US clothing market within the decade, up from 7.3% today. Clothing rentals are one more piece of the sharing economy, where customers—particularly those in their 20s and 30s—are less interested in owning or making big investments but still want access to different brands and services. For retailers, rentals offer hope at a time when they are dealing with mounds of unsold goods. Several have already gotten into the second-hand business. JC Penney and Macy’s, for instance, have partnered with ThredUp to sell “gently-worn” clothes.

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