- Rent the Runway, a company that allows consumers to rent designer apparel and accessories, partnered with FedEx to use the logistics provider's "extra hours" service in the New York City area, according to a press release provided to sister publication Supply Chain Dive.
- The extra hours program, which FedEx launched late last year, processes and ships afternoon orders by the following day. Best Buy and AutoZone were retail partners when the service first launched.
- "Rent the Runway customers in that market can now place an order in the afternoon, and have their clothing and accessories delivered via FedEx by mid-afternoon, or earlier, the very next day," FedEx said. Previously orders placed in the afternoon would be delivered by the end of the following day.
Consumers have become accustomed to 2-day, next-day or even same-day delivery from their favorite e-commerce sites, and many retailers are partnering with 3PLs to ensure those expectations are met consistently. FedEx's partnership with Rent the Runway is the latest example of businesses using fast fulfillment and shipping to win over their customers.
Rent the Runway's model is unique, however. In fact, Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman told Retail Dive she wouldn't even classify her company as a retailer. Instead, she described her business as a mashup of logistics operator, subscription service and tech company.
The company's rental model inherently requires fast order processing for consumers to get their formal wear in time for a big event. It also requires a robust reverse logistics process for consumers to return their garments after the rental period; Logistics and delivery are at the very core of Rent the Runway's business model. FedEx did not respond by press time to questions on how it is involved in Rent the Runway's reverse logistics operations.
Even for traditional and brick-and-mortar based retailers, fast shipping has become the norm and the impetus behind many retailer-3PL partnerships. FedEx and Walgreens teamed up to provide next-day deliveries of prescription medications. Target has expanded its same-day delivery operations through Shipt.
Logistics providers see additional hours as a way to enhance their service offerings. In addition to extra hours, FedEx last year announced it will deliver 6 days a week all year round, not just during peak season. UPS similarly has expanded its Saturday pickups and deliveries.