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An announcement on Borrow, described by Vince officials as “a first-to-market men’s and women’s rental experience” within the brand’s e-commerce site, is expected Tuesday.
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Vince already operates its Vince Unfold rental service, although that’s just for women’s merchandise and requires a $160 monthly subscription fee. Vince Unfold was launched in 2018 and was the first apparel subscription service to be offered by a retail brand in the advanced contemporary market.
Vince Unfold and Borrow are powered by CaaStle, a platform that manages all aspects of subscription businesses for retailers, including what’s on the website, databases, algorithms and analytics. CaaStle has distribution centers for shipping and receiving garments that are equipped with garment care and cleaning systems. All that is required of the retailer or brands is the inventory. Other retailers that work with CaaStle include Express, Banana Republic and Destination Maternity.
The launch of Borrow indicates that Vince’s rental business has been successful, and that the parent Vince Holding Corp. believes the new Borrow format should bring in additional customers eager to rent, rather than buy fashion, because there is no monthly subscription fee and because Borrow offers fashions for both genders as well as inclusive sizing.
Unfold enables customers to rent four items at a time for as long as they want. The items must be returned before a new batch of four rental items can be received.
“Borrow is the perfect fashion equation of low risk, high reward, and I believe it’s an integral step in helping us expand our reach and connect with a new generation of Vince customers,” said Jack Schwefel, chief executive officer of Vince. “With Borrow, the CaaStle team has created a seamless rental experience that is fully integrated into Vince.com, and I’m confident that this added service will resonate with shoppers and encourage them to engage with the brand in new and exciting ways.”
Borrow allows customers to wear items as many times as they like during the rental period for a fraction of the retail price. There’s also the option to buy the item. The fee is a fixed percent of an item’s current retail price with an initial rental period of 14 days. Each Borrowed item includes free priority shipping and returns and complimentary dry cleaning. At the end of the prepaid period, they can either return the item or continue with a daily fee to extend the rental.
“In addition to the women’s collection, we are excited to bring the Borrow program to the men’s category with our longstanding partner, Vince,” said Christine Hunsicker, founder and CEO of CaaStle. She characterized Vince Unfold as “highly successful,” noting that Borrow gives customers even more access to the brand beyond subscription rental.
Borrow, accessed on Vince.com, shows the styles available for rental from the full assortment, including women’s, men’s and inclusive sizing collections. If a style is available, the button will appear. Availability will change as items are returned, so if a particular style or color is not available at a particular moment customers are encouraged to check back.
Vince is part of the Vince Holding Corp., a portfolio of contemporary fashion brands that also includes Rebecca Taylor and Parker.