French Connection has become the latest retailer to join the burgeoning rental services sector, but with a difference.
The fashion and lifestyle retailer is to become the first major UK brand to run its own independent rental operation, available directly to its customers from its existing website.
It has partnered with Hirestreet to create the rental service offering on French Connection’s web store, powered by Hirestreet’s sister platform Zoa Rental.
French Connection Rental will offer customers rental dresses, vacation wear and work wear for between four and 15 days, with prices ranging from £45 to £205 (around €53 to €242).
The collection will initially consist of 100 event and wedding-focused styles for this summer. It will allow customers to rent individual pieces from the collection, as well as purchase items from the rest of the website. This can be done without the need for a subscription or separate account, which will make it accessible to more customers and age groups, the retailer said.
«Growth in the rental market is outpacing traditional retail by 20 times, driven by consumer demand for sustainable and affordable fashion,» said Hirestreet and Zoa founder and CEO Isabella West.
«This summer will be the most important summer for rental in the UK. We started working together through a partnership with Hirestreet many years ago. The (French Connection) stock has always worked very well in a rental model and launching its own branded offering is a natural next step,» she added.
West noted that other retailers have launched rental collections on the Hirestreet platform, but said French Connection «is the first to offer items directly.»
M&S, Oasis and Nobody’s Child are other names that have joined Hirestreet recently and could join French Connection’s move to Zoa in the future.