Nuuly One Of The Most Profitable Fashion Subscription Platforms And Why It’s Worth It


Nuuly

When scrolling through Nuuly’s app it’s nearly impossible to not compare it to its competitor Rent the Runway. If you’re used to the sleek look of the latter and the way that it categorizes brands and what type of look you’re going for Nuuly will take some getting used to. Where RTR feels a bit stiff, Nuuly notably is filling in a gap that was wide open concerning subscription sites: stylish and punchy clothing for work and outside the office.

Out the gate, the Urban Outfitters-owned rental service user experience design lands differently. It’s more colorful and it features glossy imagery that is compelling. The platform stocks brands like Free People, Lisa Says Gah, Farm Rio, Agolde, and Anthropologie. These are key companies with specific customer bases. But beyond the brands, the copywriting is filled with jargon not limited to “statement prints” to “nostalgic denim staples” and also “crowd-pleasers.” These signifiers make it clear who this platform is aiming to reel in, ultra-busy young-ish millennials, millennials in their mid to early 30s, and Gen Z.

Why Nuuly Is Actually Worth It
Nuuly

Admittedly, I am a part of the target audience for Nuuly, which was founded in 2019. I’d describe myself as a moody dresser who enjoys wearing vibrant shades all year. I’m also someone who regularly is kept in the loop of what new clothing and accessories are available due to my line of work. Honestly, I find all of the information I’m kept abreast of to be a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t help that some of the pieces I would like to purchase are way out of my budget that I aim to stick to each month.

This is what makes a compelling case for Nuuly. Rather than regularly shelling out $500 for a dress I’m into for the moment or upwards of $280 for a pair of jeans or trousers, I can spend $98 a month. With this price, I can handpick six items from brands I feel connected to. I find this to be thrilling and I feel it’s worth it. Rendoll, a Nigerian clothing brand is now available on the platform. And at the moment so are countless other pieces with a fresh take on spring wear. That ranges from a bubble-hem dress by Maeve in white or a lacy maxi skirt from Free People. For LoveShackFancy’s offerings play into the childlike nostalgia-inspired moment that fashion is currently experiencing: floral mini-skirts and a baby pink puff sleeve mini dress.

Why Nuuly Is Actually Worth It
Nuuly

It’s safe to assume that other millennials like myself are taking a plunge into the rental space post-pandemic. As of October, Nuuly had over 190,000 subscribers compared to Rent the Runway’s 141,000 active users, according to Business of Fashion. The second quarter sales for Rent the Runway were $75.7 million in comparison to Nuuly’s $55.8 million for a similar quarter. These figures point out how the newer platform was able to flip a profit quicker than the former which launched nearly 15 years ago.

As someone who has used both platforms, it’s become clear that the more seasoned brand is still pushing to signify itself as a go-to for designer pieces. The platform also has readily available handbags and designer jewelry. For those who are seeking to rent one dress for a special occasion, that is possible too. This has always been a core of RTR for years.

Why Nuuly Is Actually Worth It
Nuuly

“We wanted to build an assortment that was expansive enough and varied enough that she could have options for whatever her next month’s need was, whether or not she’s going to a wedding or has an event, whatever it may be,” David Hayne, Nuuly’s president and Urban Outfitters’s chief technology officer tells CNBC. By utilizing this notion as a core factor of its business, Nuuly has been able to excel. 

Another anecdotal example is for a trip I’m getting ready to go on, I decided to use the platform. Instead of purchasing new outfits, I rented six pieces of clothing. A cozy, black faux fur jacket by We The Free, bright green trousers by Alexandra Bueno, a wide-leg jumpsuit in orange by Anthropologie, a cream wrap top by Maeve, a V-neck floral dress by Plenty by Tracy Reese, and two tops by Hutch. One is a colorful, floral bow top–the other is an orange strapless shirt with a floral applique sewn on the middle. Each of these items speaks to my personal style, but they also point to the uniqueness and range of pieces that are readily available to Nuuly customers.



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