Rent the Runway stops accepting rental orders or new subscribers amid delivery meltdown

Rent the Runway has stopped accepting any new subscribers until October 15 after chaos in its supply chain led to a torrent of complaints and the loss of a senior executive.

The online fashion rental service, announced on Friday that in order for it to focus on “our current customers”, it would not be “accepting new subscribers or new event rental orders to be delivered before Oct. 15.”

This comes after weeks of intense backlash on social media from its subscribers who have complained of their orders turning up days late or not at all, customer service waiting times spanning multiple hours and a general lack of communication from the company.

Since the disruption began on September 13 while the company began to implement a “significant software transformation” in its supply chain, horror stories have emerged of customers failing to receive dresses for special occasions including their own weddings and red-carpet events with no time to buy an alternative.

“I’m reaching out to further update you on delays that some of you have experienced in receiving your orders over the last few weeks,” Rent the Runway’s chief executive Jenn Hyman said in an email to customers.

“The delays, which began Sept. 13, are due to unforeseen issues associated with a significant software transformation that we are executing in our fulfillment operation. Our technical team is working to fix these issues as quickly as possible. We expect this upgrade to be completed by Oct. 15 or sooner, at which point you will experience much improved availability of styles.

“So that we can focus entirely on you, our current customers, while we fix these issues, we will not be accepting new subscribers or new event rental orders to be delivered before Oct. 15.”

According to a report from the Business of Fashion, Rent the Runway’s chief supply officer Marv Cunningham will step down from the company in response to the growing backlash.

Rent the Runway charges customers either $89 or $159 per month for a subscription, which allows them to rent high-end cocktail dresses for important events rather than splashing out on an item for one-time use.

It has seen a dramatic rise to popularity over the past decade, and its model has been replicated by a range of retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters.

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3 Comments. Leave new

Good idea : poor implementation.

Takeover opportunity for a proven deliverer

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I feel a sense of perspective is required when I read such overly dramatic reports such as this; “horror stories have emerged of customers failing to receive dresses for special occasions including their own weddings and red-carpet events with no time to buy an alternative.” If people live by a just in time system, without allowing for failures, there are bound to be issued, especially for important occasions.

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A very sound comment.

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