Skip to main content

Nordstrom Adds Rent the Runway “Drop-off Boxes” to LA Stores

Rent the Runway customers now have yet another reason to visit their local Nordstrom stores.

The retailer and the subscription service announced a partnership that allows subscribers to return their Rent the Runway garments to “drop-off boxes” within four Los Angeles-based Nordstrom locations.

The pilot program debuts in three of LA’s West Hollywood, Brentwood and Downtown LA Nordstrom Local stores (which are smaller, convenience-minded hubs) along with one full retail store. The areas are rife with Rent the Runway consumers, with LA being the company’s fourth largest market.

Executives from both companies told Reuters the premise of the partnership is to make things more convenient for Rent the Runway subscribers, while bringing foot traffic to Nordstrom stores.

This symbiotic approach was pioneered by Amazon and Kohl’s in 2017, when some Kohl’s stores began accepting Amazon returns in hopes of driving shoppers to its faltering brick-and-mortars. The approach worked, and the program has since expanded to all doors, allowing consumers across the country to return their Amazon goods to all of the big box stores.

In this partnership, Rent the Runway shoppers are being driven primarily to newer Nordstrom Local storefronts, where they can consult with personal stylists on both fashion and beauty, have garments altered or make quick returns.

“We’re excited to see the amount of customers that end up using the service with Rent the Runway as well as the customers we’re able to introduce into our service programs like styling,” Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s senior vice president of customer experience told Reuters.

The move comes a little over a month after the retailer announced disappointing first quarter sales results, which showed an even larger deceleration in revenue than the company expected. After a rough fourth quarter, Nordstrom anticipated soft numbers in the spring. But the worrisome revenue miss has prompted the company to take a hard look at strategy moving forward.

Related Stories

It appears collaborations with burgeoning businesses like Rent the Runway are a part of that strategy, along with diversifying (through ventures like Nordstrom Local) the services that the retailer will offer to consumers, rather than just focusing on product.

The partnership isn’t all about resuscitating Nordstrom’s sales, though.

Rent the Runway stands to gain an asset in offering subscribers a convenient way to return their packages, which are shipped by UPS and need to be dropped off in-store or at a designated pickup point.

“We’ll expect to see over time some loyalty improvement,” Maureen Sullivan, chief operating officer at Rent the Runway told Reuters, adding, “by having these physical drop-off boxes…we’re able to activate even more subscribers.”