French Connection launches D2C rental service

French Connection has become the UK’s first major fashion label to launch a direct to consumer (D2C) online rental service for its latest season collection.

French Connection Rental, a new standalone site for the fashion brand, will allow customers to rent dresses, holiday and work wear, with the company expecting ‘unprecedented’ demand in spring and summer 2022 as events and weddings return to the social calendar following the pandemic.

The pieces will be available for individual hire and unlike a number of other rental services, will not require a subscription.

The site has been developed with rental-as-a-service provider Zoa Rental, a white label company launched by rental platform Hirestreet in 2021.

The company currently provides technology and integrated website operations for Hirestreet, Rathbones Tailor, Cameron Ross, Blanqo, Taite Ro, CLOAN and DCEY.

Items are available to rent from 4 to 15 days on French Connection Rental, with prices starting from £10 for garments that retail for up to £205.

The move comes as global fashion brands respond to growing consumer demand for sustainable and circular fashion.

Several leading retailers have recently entered the rental market through partnerships with rental websites.

Marks & Spencer recently scaled up its partnership with leading rental platform Hirestreet.

However, French Connection is the first major brand to let its customers rent individual items from its latest collection directly, on-demand, without the need for a subscription.

French Connection has worked with Zoa Rental through a longstanding Hirestreet partnership. Isabella West, chief executive of Zoa Rental, said French Connection stock has been performing well in the rental model, meaning the launch of an own-brand offer “is a natural next step.”

Sheadded that growth in the rental market is outstripping traditional retail by 20x, driven by consumer demand for sustainable, affordable fashion.

Simon Donoghue, managing director of retail and e-commerce at French Connection said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Zoa to bring premium highstreet to the hire customer and support the ever growing appetite of hiring. We’re really excited to showcase our product to this audience and be at the forefront of this movement.”

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