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John Lewis to launch ‘dress for hire’ rental service

John Lewis is set to launch a ‘dress for hire’ rental service as it looks to cater to shoppers amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and to offset environmental issues.

The department store retailer has set it sights on encouraging ‘a more sustainable way of shopping’, and has partnered with the online rental specialist Hurr to do so.

The new scheme, which will loan a range of brands currently available across its stores, comes after John Lewis’s half-year results showed the cost of living crunch is affecting customers’ spending patterns.

John Lewis is aiming to win a slice of the booming rental clothing market, which is expected to be worth £2.3bn by 2029 after it swung to £99m loss amid “unprecedented cost inflation across grocery and general merchandise”.

The minimum rental fee is £20 and customers can browse the collection online and choose to rent an outfit for four, eight, 10 or 20 days. Items arrive with a return bag and pre-paid label and are sent back to Hurr, which will have them dry cleaned.

In 2020, the retailer launched a furniture rental service with prices starting at £17 a month with items ranging from beds to bar stools, and sofas to dining tables, and earlier this year in May the retailer announced its subscription service for rented children’s clothes in partnership with kidswear rental platform, Thelittleloop.

John Lewis executive director Pippa Wicks said: “John Lewis Rental allows our customers to experiment with fashion they love without it having to cost the earth.”

John Lewis said research shows the UK buys more clothes per person than any other country in Europe and that the wider fashion industry accounts for 8-10 per cent of annual global carbon emissions.

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