Will Rent the Runway get hit by the coronavirus?
Many Americans, if not scared, are certainly wary about what effects the coronavirus (COVID-19) may have on their lives as new reports show it spreading to more states across the U.S. As concern heightens, the impact is being felt at retail. Retailers are seeing a run on hand sanitizer in stores and online. Consumers planning for possible quarantines are stocking up on shelf-stable items and other supplies.
Now, comes word that Rent the Runway has added a new item to its FAQ page about how it cleans its garments to prevent the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. The upscale clothing rental service also sent an email to subscribers to allay their concerns.
Rent the Runway cites Harvard Health in stating “there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from soft surfaces like fabric or carpet to humans. In addition, our cleaning agents and practices are designed to kill viruses such as the common cold and flu. While scientific information is still developing, we have no reason to believe that our processes are ineffective against COVID-19.”
To be absolutely clear about the concern that it takes regarding the care of its garments, the FAQ says its fulfillment center teams use a variety of techniques to clean the items it ships. “All garments go through a wet or dry cleaning process. They also go through an additional steaming process, which heats items to between 248°F and 302°F with the exception of faux fur, select outerwear, leather, and faux leather garments, which still go through standard cleaning processes. According to the CDC, flu viruses are killed by heat above 167°F. Every garment is then enclosed in plastic for protection and cleanliness, which we ask customers to return for recycling.”
- FAQ – Rent the Runway
- As coronavirus spreads, many questions and some answers – Harvard Health Publishing
- Coronavirus Could Hit Clothing Rental Sites – Ad Age
- Rent the Runway assures customers it is cleaning its clothes, amid coronavirus outbreak – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How likely is the coronavirus to cut into the rental and sales of secondhand clothing retailers? Was Rent the Runway’s response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus sufficient to allay fears among its current and prospective subscribers?