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Bloomingdale’s On How Subscription Services Are Revitalizing Retail

Bloomingdale's On How Subscription Services Are Revitalizing Retail

PSFK interviews the EVP and general merchandise manager of RTW and Concessions at Bloomingdale's, which recently unveiled a clothing subscription service called My List—the first-ever from an upscale department store

In Brief:

  • Bloomingdale's recently launched an online clothing rental service called My List. This program is in line with other department stores and retailers who have started offering their clothes via subscription, but is the first from a high-end department store.
  • Denise Magid, the brand's EVP and general merchandise manager of ready to wear and concessions, says that rental services are taking off because consumers value variety, novelty and accessibility. Accordingly, to fulfill the needs and meet the behavior of the modern consumer, the retailer launched My List to provide a revolving closet of the latest fashion.
  • Magid sat down with PSFK to discuss engaging with younger consumers, updating a legacy brand and serving as a lifestyle partner for customers.

PSFK: What led to the creation of My List?

Denise Magid: Our customer’s behavior has been changing and the growing rental market has played a large role in this shift. What was once only seen in lodging and transportation services has since trickled into the fashion industry. Offering customers a subscription rental service delivers on our mission of being aspirational yet approachable. By introducing My List, these consumers now have a new way to experience the brand via a service that best suits their lifestyle.

What sets My List apart from other clothing rental services?

This is the first-ever subscription rental service from an upscale department store. Our vendor relationships led to a brand matrix with a curated assortment of everyday and trendy pieces that members can’t find anywhere else. Having such a diverse merchandise mix allows every My List member to find pieces that bring out their personal style and creative energy.

How does this model allow Bloomingdale’s to establish itself as a lifestyle partner for shoppers?

With My List, we’re aiming to acquire new customers and give current ones a new Bloomingdale’s platform to engage with. Knowing millennials and Gen Z have a growing interest in the rental market, My List allows us to communicate with them in an authentic way and gives them access to aspirational merchandise at an approachable price.

With our existing customers, it’s making Bloomingdale’s a lifestyle destination for all of their needs whether it’s fashion, beauty, home and now rental. The shopper that may only come to us for their beauty needs now has a new service to try with the same exceptional quality she expects from the Bloomingdale’s brand.

The program was designed with continual rotation and ease of use in mind. The My List website guides members through a curated selection of wear-to-work, desk-to-dinner and weekend styles, with the ability to prioritize favorites.

Why do you think consumers have been increasingly interested in clothing rental services?

Clothing rental services give consumers a cost-effective way to experience the latest fashion without the financial investment. Just like other aspects of their lives, shoppers want variety and discovery. Rental services like My List transform her wardrobe into a revolving closest so she can experience newness on an ongoing basis.

How do you see the rental model impacting existing business models?

Retailers need to find ways to innovate and provide services that deliver on what customers are looking for. When you take a step back and see what’s taking place on a broader level, you’ll see that customers today have even more options at their disposal with the rise of the sharing economy.

Whether it’s how they get a ride across town or their decision to stay in a hotel or home, customers want variety across all aspects of life, including fashion. Retailers will need to adjust their business models accordingly in order to adapt to these changing needs.


My List

Lead image: Bloomingdale's