Rent the Runway Appoints First CMO Since 2020


Fashion rental platform Rent the Runway has a new chief marketer for the first time in four years, the company announced Wednesday.

Natalie McGrath, most recently vice president of marketing for buy now, pay later platform Afterpay, will oversee brand and growth marketing, creative services, public relations and customer service as chief marketing officer.

The hire comes at a turbulent yet critical moment for Rent the Runway, as it aims for profitability by the end of 2024. The company underwent a restructuring in January, which included layoffs amounting to 10% of its staff. The brand’s longtime president and chief operating officer, Anushka Salinas, left at the end of the month.

“The goal of our restructuring was to realign and refocus our company around growth,” co-founder, CEO and president Jennifer Hyman said. “Our job now is to reignite emotional connections with our customers, which is how we’ve been successful in growing our business in the past.”

The fight for profitability

Rent the Runway was founded in 2009 to create “the world’s largest shared designer closet,” purporting that its pioneering rental model was a more sustainable and cost-effective way for women to get dressed.

But despite raising over $500 million in debt and equity in its first decade, the company has yet to turn a profit. It went public in 2021 at $21 per share, but it hasn’t traded above $5 since August 2022 and was valued at $0.41 per share at the time of writing.

The company laid off nearly one-quarter of its staff in 2022 as it worked to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic disruption to subscriptions (60% of subscribers paused or canceled amid lockdown), announcing a planned restructure to focus on profitability as the ZIRP era (zero interest rate policy) came to a close. After restructuring its debt in December and the whole company in January, the company said it is on track to break even by the end of this year.

Rent the Runway says there’s room for rental to grow. Over 11 million women in the U.S. have used clothing rental services in the past few years, the company said, pointing to a 2023 report from Research and Markets, and the category is growing at 11% per year.

1 2Next page

Related Articles

Back to top button