Millennials are leaving their suitcases at home when they travel, preferring to rent clothes and shoes when they reach their destination, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2016, in association with Euromonitor International, released today (Tuesday 8 November) at World Travel Market London.
Hotels and fashion brands are tapping into this “bag-free, hassle-free” trend and teaming up to offer pay-as-you-go convenience for busy travellers.
The WTM Global Trends Report states the trend has followed the rise of the sharing economy, which has seen renting become more accepted – and it’s moving beyond cars and holiday apartments.
The research points to pioneers such as Starwood’s Westin brand which rents running clothes and shoes to guests for US$5.
Start-up ventures have entered the arena with companies such as unPack offering a suitcase of clothes to rent for hotel and Airbnb guests.
Fashion store Pimkie has installed “Mini Fashion Bars” in hotels in Antwerp, Brussels, Milan and Paris, with clothes available to buy via a mini-bar style service.
Virgin Hotel Chicago has a concierge service which allows guests to purchase clothes from Gap and have them delivered to their room.
Andrew Zahornacky Co-Founder of unPack, said: “Hotels have seen that unPack can be a powerful way to maximise their proposition to travellers in terms of efficiency and convenience, as well as adding a unique service.
“unPack also gives consumers access to high quality clothing, which can showcase the brand’s quality to a new audience.”
The report says millennials – those born after 1980 – tend to be the most enthusiastic consumers of clothing rental services.
A survey by Westfield Shopping in the UK and the US found that almost half of 25- to 34-year-olds would be interested in a monthly rental scheme for clothes.
Renting also means millennials can wear luxury fashion brands that would be out of their price range if they had to buy them.
“Fashion concierges” are emerging, with New York’s Dream Downtown Hotel employing a stylist to fill a wardrobe of clothes for guests to try on and purchase if they wish.
New York hotels have also seen sneaker concierges, who will find rare footwear for guests to buy, and a bikini concierge tasked with advising on matching styles.
More specialised rentals will follow, with the likes of Candlewood Suites renting slow cookers, blenders and grills to guests.
Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “As hotels develop more rental services for frequent flyers, it will reduce the need for luggage – and make air fares cheaper for consumers who normally pay hold baggage fees.
“However, airlines rely more and more on money earned from such fees, so they will have to adapt if they start losing money from this revenue stream.”
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “The clothes rental trend has implications beyond travel as it offers great potential to the fashion industry.
“Savvy clothes designers and retailers can reach out to a large captive audience, especially as there is an estimated 28.5 million hotel rooms worldwide.”
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).
World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London.
WTM London is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM London will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with more than 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together more than seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
About Euromonitor International
Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have more than 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets.
To receive your free 2016 WTM Global Trends Report copy, please register here: http://go.euromonitor.com/WTM-London-2016.html