Nordstrom and Rent the Runway Expand Their Partnership

On the latest episode of the E-Commerce Retail Briefing podcast:

Nordstrom and Rent the Runway are expanding their partnership, bring more drop-off boxes to Nordstrom locations along with offering enhanced services to Rent the Runway members.

  • In a report, Amazon passed Apple and Google as the number one U.S. brand. The company’s worth rose 20% from last year to $334.6 billion, the most of any in the history of the annual Brand Z top 100 brands in the country from Kantar consulting group. Apple came in second, worth $303.4 billion and Google came in at third with $303.2 billion.
  • Patagonia has opened its first-ever physical store for its resale business, Worn Wear. The store is a pop-up in Boulder, Colorado, that will be open until February of 2020 according to a press release. The move comes as the resale business continues to grow, indicating the retailer is doubling down on its own used gear efforts. The new pop-up will feature Worn Wear products, as well as its ReCrafted Collection, which sells clothes made from apparel that was beyond repair. In addition to selling used gear, the location will host repair and upcycling workshops.
  • According to a press release, Coty acquired a majority stake of Kylie Jenner’s beauty business on Monday for $600 million. The acquisition includes Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020, and the Jenner brands will continue to be sold through beauty retailers as well as owned digital channels. 

Nordstrom and Rent the Runway Expand Partnership

Nordstrom and Rent the Runway are expanding their partnership, with the apparel rental service bringing its drop-off boxes to 24 more Nordstrom locations nationwide. Five Nordstrom locations currently offer the Rent the Runway return service, according to a press release from the companies. Nordstrom is also becoming a rent the Runway Platform partner, which the companies said, “entails contributing inventory to the Rent the Runway ecosystem to extend the lifecycle of Nordstrom products.” They’re also exploring the development of other exclusive products that could be bought or rented.

The expanded partnership comes at a time when e-commerce is seeing more growth than the wider retail industry. Brick-and-mortar and online retailer partnerships have become a strategy several companies have embraced as the retail landscape continues to shift. Kohls began accepting Amazon returns and Target started selling Casper mattresses. ThredUp also formed partnerships with JCPenny and Macy’s to sell a selection of their consignment clothes in several of their department store locations. Rent the Runway isn’t a stranger to partnering with a brick-and-mortar retailer, installing its drop boxes at 15 WeWork locations along with hosting several pop-ups at the company’s locations.

For Nordstrom and Rent the Runway, it’s hard to imagine a better match for a partnership. Both companies emphasize their upscale apparel and customer service. Nordstrom locations will have trained stylists available to work with Rent the Runway members and place a renewed emphasis on high-touch services like tailoring, styling, and gift wrapping.