Retail giant Lotte has launched a Korean fashion rental service.
Buying consumer products is not like buying property: the moment you make a purchase the product’s value deteriorates.
Enter rental services, which at least one Korean business believes may be the next big consumer consumption trend. Rental or lease services for high-cost goods such as laptops and automobiles have already become prevalent.
Now, Korea’s Lotte Department Store has decided to take things further and started renting out fashion items.
Lotte last week launched its ‘Salon de Charlotte’, a rental store for various fashion items, at its flagship store in Myeongdong. Available items range from dresses and suits to jewellery and handbags.
The store mainly features high-end clothing for special occasions, such as weddings and birthday parties. It houses a women’s dress label, Just Philippa, items from designer Jang Min Young, and Italian handcrafted suits from Dasarto. Salon de Charlotte also features offerings from Bugaboo, a Dutch stroller manufacturer, and rents out the company’s premium baby carriages.
Furthermore, the store provides a ‘Styling Service’, offering visitors fashion advice and recommending the best-matching clothing, and a ‘Door-to-Door’ service, where employees visit customer homes for product and rental-related consultations.
“The idea now is to ‘experience’ rather than to ‘possess’ goods,” said a Lotte Department Store spokesperson. “This is exactly why sharing and rental services are becoming more prevalent.
“And to meet rising consumer demand, we decided to present Korea’s first fashion rental store, and we plan on expanding the service to cover more casual clothing and travel goods.”
According to the KT Economy & Management Research Lab, the domestic B2C (Business-to-Consumer) rental market has grown by an average of 10 per cent since 2012, with total revenue reaching 16.9 trillion won (US$14.8 billion) last year.
- Original reporting by Kevin Lee of Korea Bizwire.