Rent the Runway Resumes Taking New Orders and Customers After Fixing Warehouse Chaos

Rent The Runway Inc. CEO Jennifer Hyman Interview
Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Rent The Runway Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Friday, March 22, 2019. Hyman discussed reaching a $1 billion valuation following its latest round of funding, the evolution of the business, and customer adoption of their subscription service. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Christopher Goodney—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rent the Runway is renting to new customers again.

The company said on Tuesday that it had resumed taking rental orders and onboarding new customers after addressing a weeks-long disruption to its operations that led to canceled orders and a backlash against the clothing rental service.

“We are happy to share the news that we completed our system upgrades ahead of schedule, and are back to business as usual,” Rent the Runway said on its web site.

The resumption of new orders and clients comes a few days before the company said it would: Rent the Runway, valued at $1 billion by investors after a $125 million funding round in March, had said on September 27 it would temporarily halt taking new orders because of what CEO Jennifer Hyman called “unforeseen issues associated with a significant software transformation” in its New Jersey warehouse. The freeze had been set to last until October 15.

The delays started on Sept. 13 and resulted from unexpected problems with an update to its fulfillment operations that aimed to speed up turnaround time so the clothing could more quickly be rented out again.

In September, Rent the Runway’s social media feeds were filled with customer complaints about delays and long customer service wait times. Rent the Runway offered full refunds as well as compensation of $200 in cash to customers who never received their orders or whose orders were canceled.

The sudden suspension of new business presents a risk to Rent the Runway, given the importance of the perception of reliability in being able to provide clothing for important events like weddings or a job interview.

Rent the Runway tells Fortune it has seen very little customer churn and has released “thousands” of people on the waiting list. It also said it is “financially positioned” to absorb the hit the business took because of this episode.

Still, the contretemps has left an opening for alternative sources such as Le Tote and Armoire, as some customers on social media have pointed out.

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