Express is launching Express Style Trial, a new service that allows shoppers to rent three items whenever they choose for $69.95 a month.Once a user is ready to return the clothing, they can ship the items back and rent three more with unlimited exchanges, similar to the business model of RTR Unlimited from Rent the Runway.
The Express clothing brand is the third major retailer in less than a year to add a subscription rental service, following rivals Ann Taylor and New York & Company.
All three retailers use CaaStle (Clothing as a Service) technology and logistics platform to drive the subscription programs. Rental programs powered by CaaStle have added approximately 50% new customers for Ann Taylor and New York & Company, primarily between the ages of 28 and 40, CaaStle CEO Christine Hunsicker told CNBC.
Hunsicker said the platform increases current shopper spending by “well north of 125%,” and also increases the amount of time shoppers spend interacting with the retailer, averaging three site visits per week at 10 minutes per visit.
After shoppers place an order on the Express site, they receive the items within approximately four to five days, including two days for processing and two to three days for delivery. Renters can cancel the subscription at their discretion.
Express CEO David Kornberg first mentioned the rental service during a Q2 earnings call in August 2018. But other than revealing that the service would initially focus on women’s apparel, Kornberg provided no additional details on the service.
With the new subscription service in tow, Express perhaps has given its e-Commerce site a chance to drive further sales growth in 2019. E-Commerce sales growth already skyrocketed for Express in Q2 2018, prior to the introduction of the service. Sales increased 37%, an even bigger jump than the 28% year-over-year growth from 2017. Online sales accounted for 25% of net sales, up from 19% in the prior year.