M&S to enter clothing rental market

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Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LSE:MKS) is to make a range of its women’s clothing available to rent, with the Christmas season on the horizon.


Items available as part of the trial range from a selling price of GBP69 to GBP299, with rental prices starting from GBP13 for four days, with a maximum rental period of 30 days.


Any irreparable damage to the clothing, such as cigarette burns, will not be covered by the optional GBP3 insurance customers are able to select at check-out.


Packages will be delivered with a returns label, and there is no need for customers to wash the clothing when sending back.


Customers will have an option of 40 womenswear pieces, with featured collections including the Autograph range and its popular collaboration with Ghost, the fashion manufacturer.


During the trial period, customers will be able to rent M&S clothing on the rental website Hirestreet.


Zoa Group, the operator of Hirestreet, received investment from M&S through the company’s founders factory joint venture accelerator programme.


First launched in 2018, the programme is designed to assist M&S in identifying and accelerating emerging businesses.


Its trial signifies the company’s first steps in the rental market as it attempts to stay ahead of its competitors.


According to GlobalData research in 2019, the UK clothing rental market value is expected to reach GBP2.3bn by 2029, a stark increase compared to the estimated GBP400 million in 2019.


Katie Bickerstaffe, chief operating officer at M&S said, “Clothing rental is a growing market and working with Hirestreet through our founders factory joint venture gives us a huge opportunity to learn from the leading start-up in this space,


The forecasted market growth can be attributed to the impact of fast fashion, with the clothing sector not immune to any future governmental restrictions to curb the climate crises.


Isabella West, founder of Zoa Group said, “True sustainability does not exist without accessibility. Rental fashion is more than just providing temporary access to designer items, it’s about giving consumers alternatives to traditional consumption and making the best use of the resources we have.”


The announcement will aid M&S’s commitment to become a net zero business by 2040.

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