Why Rent The Runway Is Actually a Tech Company

March 12, 2018
Updated 1mo ago

To many, Rent The Runway is a fashion company. But behind the scenes, it is fundamentally a technology company as well, according to Chief Technology Officer Josh Builder.

In fact, the company “doesn’t exist without technology, it doesn’t scale without technology,” Builder told Cheddar at SXSW. “And it’s really up to us to make sure that the customer doesn’t even notice any of that.”

RTR’s inventory is constantly moving in and out of its warehouses from brands to customers then back to its warehouses for dry cleaning. That process is then complicated further by the different rental plans the company offers, including an unlimited package where users can return pieces at any time.

To keep all those wheels spinning seamlessly, the company relies heavily on data and technology.

“We run the largest reverse logistics platform coupled with a dry cleaning business in the world,” explained Builder.

RTR is poised to open another facility in Dallas, Tex., which it will then need to integrate into its current systems. “For us, that’s a pretty big technological undertaking.”

Additionally, the company is also “constantly looking at...how to evolve the way we handle shipping. How to break up first, medium, and last mile, and really start to own the distribution network as we drive towards more and more real-time service.”

For the full interview, click here.