- Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider
- FedEx recently announced its FedEx Extra Hours service, which delivers goods ordered online as late as 2 a.m. for next-day local delivery and two-day shipping to any address in the continental US.
- In the New York City and New Jersey metro area, Rent the Runway has adopted the service.
- Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway’s co-founder and CEO, has said the company is as much as logistics company as a retailer.
Rent the Runway’s clothing rental and subscription service carries hundreds of thousands of designers pieces that its nine million subscribers can peruse and get shipped to their home.
The process to get those pieces – particularly for subscribers with an “unlimited” membership – to a customer’s doorstep and back to the warehouse to later arrive on yet another doorstep is logistically complicated. That’s why Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway’s co-founder and CEO, has said the company is as much as logistics company as a retailer.
“We’re in the business of inbound logistics,” Hyman told Business of Fashion. “Most e-commerce companies focus on outbound logistics. How quickly can I get this product to the customer? In our business, we focus on how quickly can I get this product back from the customer, make sure that it’s perfect and ship it out to the next customer.”
Rent the Runway’s logistics operations is so robust that Hyman said other retailers have contacted her to map out their own clothing subscription services.
Rent the Runway has another logistics tool in New York City
Now, Rent the Runway is using FedEx’s newest service offering – FedEx Extra Hours.
The months-old service pushes the evening order cutoff times by five to eight hours. Online orders placed as late as 2 a.m. can deliver the next day in certain metro areas, or within two days to addresses in the continental US.
“Retailers love it,” Kevin Sterling, managing director of Seaport Global Securities, previously told Business Insider. “They used Extra Hours during peak season, and they were able to sell it as, ‘Hey, look, we’re better than Amazon Prime.'”
Now, New York City and New Jersey metro customers can place an order in the afternoon and have their subscription arrive the next day by mid-afternoon, or earlier. The orders previously arrived at the end of the very next day.
Shaving a few hours off delivery times may not seem like much. But it shows how tight the race for e-commerce has gotten – particularly as more folks rely on subscription clothes as their main wardrobe offerings.
“As our subscription business has continued to grow, we’re serving more and more women every day and our most engaged subscription members are now wearing rented clothing 120 days per year,” RTR’s Chief Supply Officer Marv Cunningham told Business Insider.