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May 19, 2022

French Connection launches rental site with no need for subscription

Global retailer French Connection claims to have become the first major fashion brand to launch an on-demand rental service for latest-season stock in the UK.

By Beth Wright

French Connection Rental will allow customers to rent individual pieces from its current collection, and as a key point of difference, will not require a subscription. The service will be powered by rental-as-a-service platform Zoa Rental, which will provide the technology and integrated operations behind the website.

French Connection Rental is initially focused on occasion-wear, holiday-wear and work-wear, with over 100 styles, as it seeks to take advantage of the rapidly-growing UK rental market.

Items are available to rent from four to 15 days on French Connection Rental, with prices starting from GBP10 (US$12) for garments that retail for up to GBP205.

The move by French Connection is indicative of the increasing importance global fashion brands are placing on sustainable and circular fashion. Several leading retailers have recently entered the rental market through partnerships with rental websites, however, French Connection says it is the first major brand to let its customers rent individual items from its latest collection directly from it, on-demand.

“Growth in the rental market is outstripping traditional retail by 20x, driven by consumer demand for sustainable, affordable fashion. This summer will be the biggest ever for rental in the UK,” says Isabella West, CEO of Zoa Rental. “We are delighted to be supporting French Connection in the next stage of their rental journey. We first started working together via a Hirestreet partnership many years ago. Their stock has always performed very well in a rental model and launching their own-brand offer is a natural next step”.

Launched in 2021 Zoa is the white-label rental-as-a-service offer spun out of UK rental platform Hirestreet. Zoa Rental has built its proprietary technology to enable retailers to offer rental services directly to their customers without having to build the whole operation from scratch. It currently powers Hirestreet, Rathbones Tailor, Cameron Ross, Blanqo, Taite Ro, CLOAN and DCEY.

UK retailer Marks & Spencer recently partnered with the dotte resale collective to explore kidswear resale, while Boohoo Group has been encouraged to continue rental pursuit following a foray into the market by its Oasis brand.

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