Nordstrom and Rent the Runway teamed up for order pickup and return, and other services in four Los Angeles Nordstrom locations, the companies told Retail Dive in emails.
The partnership launched Thursday with drop-off stations in all three Nordstrom Locals and the flagship at The Grove, the companies said.
In addition to having access to the new drop-off boxes in those stores, Rent the Runway members can avail themselves of services including try-on, tailoring, styling, gift-wrapping and "a variety of beauty services," according to Rent the Runway's email.
This is a good look for both Rent the Runway and Nordstrom.
The combo recalls the partnerships that Amazon has forged with Kohl's for returns, and Stein Mart and Rite Aid for package pickup, the last through Amazon's new "Counter" service that the e-commerce giant said this week will expand to other retailers. Since last year, Rent the Runway and coworking firm WeWork have installed Rent the Runway drop-offs at 15 WeWork locations in six cities, and WeWork has hosted Rent the Runway pop-ups at several locations.
But Nordstrom and Rent the Runway enjoy brand synergies not found in those collaborations and cater to similar fashion audiences.
Los Angeles is Rent the Runway's fourth largest market, "with a rapidly growing subscriber base across the region, and a particularly high density of subscribers living or working close to the Nordstrom Local locations," Rent the Runway said. The tie-up enables the fashion rental service to not only provide subscribers with easier, brick-and-mortar-based fulfillment, but also extra services not possible through e-commerce.
And it's another example of Nordstrom's knack for bringing in up-to-date brands and putting a modern spin on the kind of high-touch customer service that department stores were once so famous for. Trained stylists will be available at those Nordstrom locations to work with Rent the Runway members "to build out their ideal closet with a mix of rented and owned items from RTR & Nordstrom," according to Rent the Runway's email.
Nordstrom, meanwhile, said that the alliance is one of many undertaken in response to customers' need for convenience. "With Rent the Runway and other partners, we're testing things that we haven't done before and are expanding the impact of our existing services," the company said in its email.
The retailer is also testing pickup and drop-off services with fulfillment platform Narvar and on Thursday teased an upcoming deal with home-based services company Hello Alfred, according to Nordstrom's email.