Deep Dive 19 minutes Premium

Deep Dive: Millennial Lifestyles Drive Growth in Apparel Rental

Executive Summary

Online apparel and accessory rental services are proliferating. Apparel rental models allow customers to borrow items for a set time period, typically at a meaningful discount to the products’ retail price. Millennials appear to be driving the growth of the apparel rental segment, and three key millennial lifestyle trends are underpinning the segment’s development:

  • The “Instagram effect”—or the desire to be perceived on social media as living a fun, interesting, experience-rich life—combined with celebrity culture and the selfie phenomenon necessitate that millennials have an ever-changing, on-trend wardrobe.Apparel rental services allow consumers to wear a changing selection of major brands without having to spend as much as they would if they bought the items outright.
  • Millennials value experiences over acquiring products. Apparel rentals allow millennials to wear high-end brands at lower cost, and so funnel more of their spending toward services and leisure experiences. Meanwhile, the low priority that millennials attach to owning products makes renting apparel a more viable option for them.
  • Millennials are considered budget conscious, so renting items makes sense for them, especially when it comes to high-worth and expensive items that are used only occasionally.

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