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Not Sure About That Pricey Duvet Cover? Try Renting It First

Aviel Brown

(Bloomberg) -- Consumers are flocking to rental fashion apparel, so now West Elm Inc. and Rent the Runway Inc. want to apply the same model to home decor.

The home furnishings chain is targeting the fashion rental service’s 10 million members with an offer to rent 26 curated home textile bundles, including decorative pillows, throws, shams, quilts and coverlets for living rooms and bedrooms.

Subscribers who pay a monthly fee can get the bundles on rotation starting this summer -- letting them overhaul their home’s look or color scheme for a big party, for example. There’s also an option to purchase items at a discounted rate. Rent the Runway and West Elm, which is owned by Williams-Sonoma Inc., believe that customers who post their outfits on social media will do the same thing for their home furnishings.

“Fashion, as it is currently, lives on social media every single day,” Jennifer Hyman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Rent the Runway, said in an interview. “Similarly, the home used to be a private space. But now it’s a very public space, given that it is a reflection of who we are.”

The partnership is Rent the Runway’s first foray beyond apparel and accessories, and West Elm’s first time making products available for rent. The opportunity for West Elm is to capitalize on Rent the Runway’s rapidly expanding subscriber base -- the company says it’s growing 160 percent on an annual basis. West Elm, meanwhile, has been one of Williams-Sonoma’s fastest growing brands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aviel Brown in New York at abrown611@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at ariley17@bloomberg.net, Jonathan Roeder, Lisa Wolfson

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