Renting rather than buying is the last trend in the world of retail, and I do not see this changing. The customer in today’s world is interested in having access to the newest selections, and retailers are stepping up to provide customers with this emerging demand. For instance, Rent the Runway is a women’s online apparel service that provides customers with an option to pay for a monthly subscription to rent, use, and return apparel via prepaid shipping methods, only to get another new product returned back to the customer for their use. This method of renting rather than buying is going to grow in the retail sector as customers increasingly value and are willing to pay to obtain and use products, as opposed to traditional ownership.
Products such as Furniture, Apparel, Home Goods, and more will move to a rent subscription model as customers are willing to pay for the use of items as opposed to pay for the ownership of items. This is an evolving consumption model for retail as customers have traditionally wanted outright ownership of products. It provides consumers with the flexibility to use items until they want to switch to a new product, at which point they simply return what they were “renting” for another item. Look out for retailers incorporating this option with the products that they offer. It will be interesting to watch this service grow.