Why buy a dress or company when you can rent or partner

You’d be hard-pressed to name two retailers with brand identities as different as those of Neiman Marcus and Rent the Runway.

One will celebrate its 100th birthday this year. The other is not quite 8-years old. One is known for gorgeous, high-end stores. The other is best-known as an online operation. One sells. The other rents.

So when the two companies struck a deal in November to place Rent the Runway boutiques inside Neiman Marcus department stores, it raised more than a few eyebrows.

But the investment community applauded the arrangement. RTR closed a $60 million funding round in the days after the deal was announced.

While it’s too early to tell how well the partnership will do (the first boutique opened in Neiman Marcus’ San Francisco store just eight weeks ago), there are reasons to think the deal will prove fruitful.

Checkout TrackingSM took a look at the demographics and spending behaviors of shoppers at both RTR and Neiman Marcus, and we found little in the way of overlap.

That, of course, is the point. Both retailers are hoping to win traction with the other’s customers. Neiman Marcus would like access to the millennials who have driven RTR’s growth; while RTR would like to make inroads with the affluent consumers who made Neiman Marcus a retail legend.

 Age of Buyer

Neiman Marcus Rent the Runway
18-24 9% 15%
25-34 24% 45%
35-44 19% 20%
45-54 20% 9%
55+ 28% 10%

Purchase Metrics

Avg Annual Purchase Frequency Average Spend per Purchase Avg Annual Spend per Buyer
Neiman Marcus 2.1 429.28 894.77
Rent the Runway 2.6 62.67 165.72


Most importantly, there’s little overlap among the shoppers themselves. Folks who frequent Neiman Marcus seldom use RTR, and vice versa.

In the 12 months before the boutique-within-a-store deal was announced, just

  • 6% of NeimanMarcus.com buyers also made a purchase from Rent the Runway
  • 5% of Rent the Runway buyers also made a purchase from NeimanMarcus.com

Checkout Tracking and both retailers will be watching those numbers closely over the next 12 months for signs that the overlap is growing.

If you’d like to know where your customers do, or don’t, overlap with competitors or potential partners, drop us a line.

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