Kipling pilots luggage rental service

Accessories brand, Kipling, has launched a luggage rental service in response to the rise of the sharing economy.

The retailer is piloting the scheme initially in London, with plans to roll out the solution wider if the customers respond well to the service over the next six months. Shoppers can choose their luggage at a dedicated website, which was created by rental booking software company Lizee. The items will then be couriered to the customer, with an option to click & collect from 281 DPD collection points.

Kipling stated renting a full set of carry-on – suitcase, backpack and cross-body bag – for a long weekend would cost £9 per day and represent 12% of the full-price purchase of the same items.

The retailer hopes to attract a younger customer base which might be looking for a convenient solution for their luggage, after it discovered that 65% of people said they had issues storing empty suitcases at home.

The service is tied into parent company VF’s wider sustainability efforts, with sister brands Timberland and Northface also working on recycling projects.

Olivier Gay, VP GM EMEA, Kipling, told Essential Retail that the brand is becoming more “purpose-driven”.

“We need to be meaningful for the consumer. All VF brands are now purpose led. So we had to be creative and think about what we could do first to be more meaningful.”

Gay described how Kipling will be taking a test and learn approach to the pilot, testing on a maximum of 200 customers, while learning to overcome obstacles such as damage from heavy-handed airport baggage handlers. He also noted that rather than cannibalising the brands retail efforts, the rental scheme may also encourage customers to buy an item full-price after renting it for a long weekend.

“It’s the future, and we have to think a little out of the box,” he said. “It’s a new way to make business.”