Rent the Runway is permanently closing all of its stores. The
clothing rental service previously operated five locations across New
York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in
which renters could try on items, pick up orders and return past
rentals.

The rental company is one of several digitally-native retailers who
have made the decision to cease physical store operations due to the
economic impact of the pandemic. Rent the Runway says it plans to
return its sole focus on its online business and increase its number
of drop-off locations across the country.

As Rent the Runway had been increasing its physical presence in
major cities throughout the U.S., renters had been allowed the
opportunity to make quick and easy returns via drop-off boxes in Rent
the Runway stores and the stores of partner companies.

Renters can also ship their items back to Rent the Runway with a
prepaid shipping label. The company recently switched its shipping
partner from UPS to Fedex as it believes this system will make returns
more convenient to its renters. “With more than 60,000 FedEx and
partner locations where customers can drop off packages across the
country, this change helps ensure we can continue to provide you with
speedy and convenient returns on every order,” Rent the Runway
explained to subscribers in an email.

“The closure of our retail stores is something we had long
considered as part of the evolution of our overall business strategy
as the primary use-case of our stores for the past few years has been
pick-up and drop-off, and was a decision we accelerated during the
pandemic,” Rent the Runway’s president and COO Anushka Salinas told
Business Insider.

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