By Rotation Takes On Westfield London With Rental Pop-up

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WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS: The rental revolution continues and this week peer-to-peer rental platform By Rotation is debuting its first physical space, in London’s Westfield shopping mall.

The pop-up, which will be on for 11 days, has added a fresh, youthful touch to the West London shopping mall with its Millennial pink and green interiors and Instagrammable fashion offer.

The 3,300-square-foot space is filled with occasion dresses, bright-colored suits and accessories galore from buzzy labels like Ganni, Rixo, Sleeper, Stine Goya and Jacquemus.

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Shoppers can also spot the occasional luxury item, from a Chanel blazer to a Dolce & Gabbana bright summer dress, but according to By Rotation founder Eshita Kabra-Davies, contemporary labels are the most popular among her growing community of more than 70,000 socially conscious rotators.

The space also features some of the most photogenic, of-the-moment interiors, like baby blue velvet sofas, rattan chairs, table linens and Ultrafragola mirrors — all put together by interior designer Abisola Omole of Studio Arva.

The platform will start renting out homeware, too, with a big focus on linens, so customers can dress their dinner tables with trendy items. But Kabra-Davies also sees an opportunity in renting bigger items like sofas or mirrors to interiors professionals working on shoots or other projects.

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“We are committed to our peer-to-peer model. We don’t want to grow by buying lots of inventory and renting it out, that’s the shortcut. You can also grow by adding new categories,” she said, pointing to another opportunity to start renting out sports’ equipment soon. “I’d love to be able to rent out a paddle board from By Rotation.”

As the rental model continues to grow, more brands and traditional retailers are wanting in. But as far as Kabra-Davies is concerned, By Rotation will keep its distance from white-labeling or taking on retailers’ inventories and stick to giving the power to the end consumer to provide the inventory and set the trends.

“There’s nothing more circular than using the clothing that’s already in people’s wardrobes,” she said, adding that the peer-to-peer model allows for healthier profits margins.

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As far as physical retail is concerned, that’s not a priority, either, given young shoppers’ affinity for all things digital. The company decided to take on Westfield’s invitation as a “brand-building and data-gathering exercise,” but the focus will remain on investing in technology and enhancing the app experience — particularly as rental volumes increased 20 times ever since lockdown started lifting in the U.K. in April.

Expansion into more European territories, starting with France, is in the works.

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