Started in 2005, Shilpa Bhatia's The Clothing Rental has been the go to place for both individuals and members of the film and media industry.
A favourite for fashionistas, stylists and celebrities, The Clothing Rental offers haute-couture apparels at reasonable rates on rent.
Speaking about the reasons behind starting The Clothing Rental, Bhatia reminisces, “It began over a decade ago. I started it noticing a need for quality merchandise at a fair price.”
She adds that often times the need for a fancy outfit is temporary and then it collects dust in a limited closet space in an urban city.
“Resolving this need gave birth to the concept of renting,” Bhatia adds.
A decade or so ago, the concept of renting clothes did not exist. However, times are changing. “In today’s time renting clothes have become extremely acceptable and a preferred viable option. We attract a new client everyday, that goes to show that more and more people are opening up to the concept of renting,” Bhatia elaborates.
Speaking about the clientele, Bhatia says the years in-between has seen a sea change in the people who come to her for their fashion needs.
“Initially we only catered to the young stylist who dressed up in the finest names. However, over time our clientele has become extremely diverse.”
Bhatia says that from young college kids, people going for an interview, people attending a gala night, wedding event or even travelling abroad, everyone finds renting clothes a more viable option than investing money to buy them, especially when they get it at a fraction of the cost.
Business for The Clothing Rental has seen an upward surge as well. Bhatia reveals that while the initial few years saw the business being just a passion project with extremely low expectations, things changed after the third or fourth year when they got a mentor to guide them to see the potential in the model and think commercially.
Speaking about the future plans for The Clothing Rental, Bhatia says that the major thrust is in digital growth and growth in demand.
“We need to train our team to service diverse clients with varied needs,” Bhatia says, adding, they have noticed clients browsing through the websites months in advance before coming to the store or calling them. “Noticing this behaviour has made us engage more with our consumers from a very early thought stage and this now, would influence our strategy and execution in terms of what is the best way to prepare for the needs of the clients and how to predict trends and be ready before our consumer even thinks of it.”
Making avail of The Clothing Rental does have a set of a few do’s and don’t. Bhatia concludes, “As a provider our do’s and don’t go in to giving customer a great product with great service, maintaining our inventory and hygiene standards. As for consumers using the service, we expect them to value and respect the merchandise and treat it with care. Slight wear and tear is fairly normal and acceptable.”