Rent the Runway COO on 2019’s supply-chain crisis: ‘You can’t promise perfection if you’re disrupting at the level that we are’

Rent the Runway COO Anushka Salinas spoke at Business Insider's IGNITION: Redefining Retail conference on Tuesday.

caption
Rent the Runway COO Anushka Salinas spoke at Business Insider’s IGNITION: Redefining Retail conference on Tuesday.
source
Jin S. Lee / Business Insider

In 2019, Rent the Runway was given a $1 billion valuation after raising $125 million in its Series F funding round. And, the company is still hungry for growth.

Anushka Salinas, chief operating officer at Rent the Runway, spoke at Business Insider’s IGNITION: Redefining Retail conference Tuesday about the rental company’s ambitions to disrupt people’s ideas around ownership.

“We have fundamentally disrupted a core human behavior,” Salinas said. “We are one of the only companies out there that is telling you, telling our consumers, ‘Buy less stuff’ versus ‘Consume more.’ Twenty percent of what the global fashion industry produces every year gets thrown away.”

Salinas addressed the supply-chain crisis the company faced in 2019, during which a shift to a new warehouse software system resulted in late deliveries and furious customers.

“It’s only been 10 years,” Salinas said. “When you’re a disruptor like us, you’re not going to get it right 100% of the time. You can’t promise perfection if you’re disrupting at the level that we are.”

CEO Jennifer Hyman explained some of the changes the company was making to its systems in an email to customers. The company had told Business Insider in early July that it was doubling the size of its customer service team and making other updates to its customer experience following a flood of complaints.

“If we’re going to get it wrong, which we have in the past, we always want to make sure we’re always doing right by our customers, and sometimes that just means telling them exactly what’s going on,” Salinas said.

Watch Salinas’ full interview at Business Insider’s IGNITION: Redefining Retail event below.