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Apparel rental market can drive brand growth, loyalty: CGS

Oct '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The sharing economy is disrupting fashion and apparel brands–start-ups and established–as well as the retail industry, as they enter the rental subscription services business, according to the 2019 Future of Fashion & Retail Consumer Survey by CGS, a New York-based global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services.

Several brands and retailers introduced apparel rental services last year, yet consumer adoption rates remained low. Of the more than 17,000 consumers surveyed, only three per cent have used a rental service. Many consumers (39 per cent) did not understand or were unfamiliar with these services, and another 19 per cent believe they are too expensive.

Despite these findings, the survey found a tremendous opportunity for brands willing to address the interests of their customers and provide affordable options, according to a press release from the company.

More than 1,000 consumer respondents who have used rental services noted several reasons for exploring second hand clothing options, the prime being sustainability and affordability. Consumers are seeking second hand clothing due to a desire to find affordable options (41 per cent) and to be more environmentally friendly (13 per cent).

The younger generation is even more likely to prioritise sustainability as a reason to buy second hand items. In fact, 64 per cent of Gen Z consumers would pay more for sustainable products.

Thirty six per cent of respondents are most likely to rent apparel for formal events like holiday parties and weddings. For these consumers, these rental services present the opportunity to try out a new brand (31 per cent) or luxury item (23 per cent) for the first time. Renting can also be a direct path to new customers: 45 per cent of respondents voiced their consideration for buying an item after renting it.

Hence, brands should ensure they are heavily marketing rental options as a way to generate new interest in their products, CGS suggests.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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November 2019

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