Imagine checking into a hotel room and finding a new wardrobe hanging in your closet upon arrival.
Rent the Runway, a billion-dollar designer clothing rental company, is teaming up with W Hotels to bring clothes straight to hotel guests’ closets. The “Closet Concierge” program includes four items for $69, and it will initially launch in four cities: Aspen, Colorado; Miami; Los Angeles; and Washington.
When hotel guests book a room and receive a confirmation from W Hotels, they’ll get a promo code that will link them to the Rent the Runway site. Guests are required to select the rentals at least 24 hours before check-in to ensure that they’ll be delivered in time.
Rent the Runway curated specific wardrobe options for each destination.
“Our expert style team curated a wide array of styles and accessories based on trending designers and new arrivals on-site that are reflective of each destination’s weather and climate,” Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman told CNN Business in an interview. “However, guests are able to select pieces across the site and are not limited to the destination-curated selection.”
Traditionally, Rent the Runway items arrive in a reusable garment bag, equipped with hangers and plastic to protect each item. The garments will still arrive to the hotel that way, but the W Hotel staff will unpack, steam and hang the items so guests see them hanging in the closet when they arrive to their room. Rent the Runway customers who already have the $159 per month unlimited subscription will be able to participate in the program in addition to the four items they already rent and swap out. To return the clothing, guests will leave the items at the hotel’s front desk when they check out.
The partnership comes during a recovery period for Rent the Runway. In September, the company dealt with a slew of warehouse issues and delayed orders, and as a result, temporarily stopped accepting new customers for the Unlimited subscription.
Now the Rent the Runway team is rolling out new offerings — like this collaboration with W Hotels and the addition of ski gear and athleisure as rentable clothing — to keep loyal, if some disgruntled, customers and gain new ones.
This collaboration feels natural for Hyman.
“I always dreamed about the concept of traveling luggage-free,” she said of her idea to collaborate with W Hotels.
After graduating from undergrad at Harvard, Hyman’s first job was with Starwood as a senior manager for their leisure program development sector. Though she originally started her career in hospitality, Hyman’s interests evolved when she went back to Harvard to get her MBA in 2007, which ultimately led to the launch of Rent the Runway.
Here’s what’s in it for W Hotels: The collaboration shows that the hotel chain is open to playing around with new innovation and hot millennial brands. Plus, it’s a low-risk partnership, and it aims to add convenience to their guests’ lives.
So can we expect to see this program outside of the four cities that were initially picked for launch? Hyman said that Rent the Runway does not currently have plans with any other hotels at this time, but she hopes to scale the program nationally.