Rent the Runway to Make its North Texas Debut

The New York-based clothing rental company is opening up a distribution center in Arlington.

Rent the Runway

North Texas fashionistas will soon have closer access to designer looks at a fraction of the cost as New York-based Rent the Runway enters the area. 

The clothing rental startup is planning to open a distribution center in Arlington. The 300,000-square-foot warehouse will bring about 600 full-time jobs to the city. It’s slated to open by 2019, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“We are excited that Rent the Runway, one of the most innovative tech fashion startups of the past decade, will open its second U.S. distribution center in Arlington,” city of Arlington Economic Development Manager Bruce Payne said in a statement. 

Rent the Runway, which describes itself as being a “fashion company with a technology soul,” allows customers to rent designer accessories, dresses, and other clothing per an item or multiple items with a monthly subscription fee ranging from $89 to $159.

Rent the Runway

An employee works with a garment at Rent the Runway’s distribution center in New Jersey. [Photo courtesy of Rent the Runway]

OPTING FOR ACCESS OVER OWNERSHIP

Harvard University graduates Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss started the company in 2009 to shake up the retail industry opting for a consumer model of access rather than ownership. 

“By giving people access to remarkable luxury experiences, we’re changing the meaning of ownership — and revolutionizing retail in the process,” says the about page on the startup’s website.  

The startup’s estimated capital investment in the area will be about $35.2 million.

In addition to its ecommerce presence, the startup has brick-and-mortar shops in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Topanga, California. It’s raised more than $190 million in venture capital investments. 

Its new Arlington distribution center will be located at 1111 Bardin Road. The startup’s estimated capital investment in the area will be about $35.2 million, according to the Star-Telegram.

Last month, the startup introduced a new wedding concierge service to help people with styling needs for all those events leading up to the big day. 

“Women rely on Rent the Runway during the most important moments in their lives, so it’s a natural step for us to offer a highly-personalized, full-service experience to make dressing for a wedding easier and more fun,” Hyman said, according to Brides.com. 

Rent the Runway

A look inside Rent the Runway’s distribution center in New Jersey. The startup’s Arlington distribution center will be about 300,000 square feet. [Photo courtesy of Rent the Runway]

RENT THE RUNWAY DOESN’T CONSIDER ITSELF ONLY IN FASHION BUSINESS 

Rent the Runway doesn’t consider itself to be only a clothing rental company. 

“We’re in the fashion, technology, engineering, supply chain, operations, reverse logistics, dry cleaning, analytics business,” its website reads. 

“We’re in the fashion, technology, engineering, supply chain, operations, reverse logistics, dry cleaning, analytics business.”

Rent the Runway website

In fact, it’s been credited with being America’s largest dry cleaner, according to Forbes

Co-founders Hyman and Fleiss also are supporting other women entrepreneurs through their Rent the Runway Foundation.

The pair synced up with UBS in 2015 to launch Project Entrepreneur, which offers an educational program and venture competition to help women scale and grow their businesses. 

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway, which describes itself as being a “fashion company with a technology soul,” allows customers to rent designer accessories, dresses, and other clothing per an item or multiple items with a monthly subscription fee ranging from $89 to $159. [Photo courtesy of Rent the Runway]

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