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Burberry Tests Brand Power With Rental and Resale

Burberry became the latest high-end name to dip its toes into rental and resale last week.

My Wardrobe HQ, a U.K.-based luxury rental and resale platform that this summer allied with the high-end department store Harrods, announced a new partnership with Burberry Wednesday. The collaboration will support Smart Works, a long-time Burberry partner that provides quality interview clothes and coaching to unemployed women, with 40 percent of each transaction going to the British charity.

The Burberry collection encompasses a broad selection of pre-owned pieces, from the fashion house’s iconic trench coats to pants, tees, sneakers and accessories. The items can either be bought for half off the retail price or rented for four, seven, 10 or 14 days at a time. Rental prices range from 6 pounds—about $8—per day for a scarf to 29 pounds—around $38—per day for a gabardine trench coat. Of the 31 Burberry pieces listed on the platform, eight have already sold and nine are currently rented out.

My Wardrobe HQ’s partnership with Burberry comes five months after it kicked off an alliance with Harrods. That collaboration has seen the platform offer a broad variety of in-demand labels, including Alessandra Rich, Jenny Packham, Needle and Thread, Giambattista Valli, Victoria Beckham and Monique Lhuillier. Customers can rent the items for four, seven, 10 or 14 days, or purchase at a 70 percent discount. My Wardrobe HQ currently lists 272 items in its Harrods selection, of which more than 120 have already been bought. Fourteen are listed as “rented.”

A host of brands have launched—or, in some cases, expanded—rental programs in the past year. Just last month, the British startup Hurr teamed with Timberland to rent out a selection of genderless outerwear. In September, the Los Angeles-based ready-to-wear brand Vince extended its rental subscription program to include men’s apparel. The outdoor lifestyle brand Eddie Bauer launched a program in July powered by the rental service Arrive Outdoors, but accessible through its own e-commerce site.

The news, however, marks a circular leap forward for Burberry, which apologized in the fall of 2018 for burning unsold inventory and vowed to not only clean up its act but also stop selling fur.