Interview • 08.11.2018

Sharing is caring

Renting versus buying: Outdoor specialty store VAUDE dares to venture out

Renting outdoor gear and equipment versus buying it? That's okay. VAUDE makes it possible since 2017. The company’s "iRentit" project is still in its infancy. A good time for us to sit down with Lisa Fiedler, who co-developed the concept, and talk about challenges, hygiene and ambivalent customers.

“iRentit” started as a pilot project in three of your stores in the spring of 2017. Since the beginning of 2018, customers can now rent certain equipment online and at all VAUDE stores. How did you come up with the idea for ​​"iRentit"?

Lisa Fiedler; Copyright: VAUDE
Lisa Fiedler, business development
Source: VAUDE

We are facing big global challenges today, like the waste of resources or urbanization, which means that people have less and less storage space at their disposal. At the same time, we realize that our customers are becoming less interested in owning the items and products, but are far more drawn to using them. Timely on-demand availability tends to be the crucial aspect in this setting. All of these thoughts, considerations, and changes gave rise to the idea of ​​"iRentit".

This is not an entirely new concept. "Sharing is Caring" is an idea more and more companies are committed to. They rent out cars, cameras, and microphones even at short notice and for the short-term.

That’s right. Renting expensive items has been common practice in other areas for quite some time.
Over the past years, we have come to realize that people increasingly care about sustainability and want to shop with a clear conscience.

What are the costs for renters and the company?

The user only pays a rental fee for the rental gear. There are additional shipping costs if he/she rents the equipment online. Our company incurs costs because we must check and – if need be - repair the returned gear. If the repairs are due to normal wear and tear, we will assume the costs. The customer has to pay the cost if the damage is due to willful destruction.

Is this rental idea a profitable business for you?

Not yet. It becomes profitable once more products are being rented. At this juncture, predictions on this aspect are still too speculative.

VAUDE does not rent out clothing and sleeping bags for hygienic reasons.

That’s right. Yet we offer a wide selection of rental equipment, including bike bags, tents, sleeping pads and much more. Customers clean and return the articles and we check them. This doesn’t include sleeping bags and clothing yet, because cleaning these items is still too expensive. Having said that, we are considering the possibility for the future.

How many rental cycles does it take before a product is worn out?

We are not able to answer that yet. Our goal is to rent the product out as often as possible to truly conserve resources and save the environment.

Isn’t it basically more attractive to rent than to buy a product?

From our perspective, this isn’t the case just yet. With 40 rentals so far, we have not reached the critical mass yet to say that renting is more attractive. But people are definitely interested in the concept. The trend is unquestionably headed in that direction.

We have a diverse target audience. These days, most cyclists no longer just exclusively ride their bikes. People tend to have diverse interests. That’s why it comes in handy if they can rent gear to try out a new sport before committing to buy all the equipment.

How do you market this system? A rented product probably doesn’t work as a status symbol.

You are right, this is more about a lifestyle. We advertise the new concept via our different communication channels like our homepage with the rental portal, social media, and mailings. The press is also interested. We also hand out flyers at the VAUDE stores to make our local customers aware of this service.

What were some obstacles you had to overcome along your way to this rental concept?

One major obstacle was the rental management software. This is a prerequisite for rental processes, specifically if this service is also meant to be scaled effectively.
Given that most systems are decentralized, finding the right system was an enormous challenge for us because we want to do our own brand marketing in our stores.
The maintenance and repair costs of the products are high and require shrewd calculation.

Does this concept have a future?

It is a pet project of our company that is intended to improve the future. And although it is presently an expenditure, it might eventually become a profitable branch of business. But this takes time, process optimization and the creation of a certain level of customer awareness.

Interview: Nora Petig, iXtenso - Magazine for retailers

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Changing markets: embracing disruption to harvest opportunity...
18.06.2019   #digitization #event

Changing markets: embracing disruption to harvest opportunity

Reporting from the first annual Retail & Brand Experience World Congress in Barcelona

More than 200 industry insiders highlighted the many challenges facing the retail sector today in interesting talks and lectures.Topics included the customer experience, the use of technologies, digital media, omnichannel strategies, personalization ...

Thumbnail-Photo: APG Cash Drawer: new SMARTtill business development manager...
15.05.2019   #cash management #cash handling systeme

APG Cash Drawer: new SMARTtill business development manager

APG Cash Drawer announces hire of SMARTtill business development manager

APG Cash Drawer, a fast-growing global manufacturer of cash management solutions, announced today the addition of Tony Pusateri as SMARTtill Business Development Manager. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Welcome to the tenth edition of the RetailShow Exhibition...
22.03.2019   #e-commerce #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk

Welcome to the tenth edition of the RetailShow Exhibition

Exhibition of Equipment, Technology and Services for Retail

We kindly invite you to participate in the biggest, annual, B2B retail event in Poland: Exhibition of Equipment, Technology and Services for Retail – RetailShow. The closest, tenth edition will be held on 20-21 November 2019 in Warsaw, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: LANCOM Systems expands its solution portfolio with a range of powerful...
19.03.2019   #security #software developement

LANCOM Systems expands its solution portfolio with a range of powerful firewalls

Machine learning protects against viruses and malware

German network infrastructure supplier LANCOM is expanding its range of solutions with a full lineup of firewalls for small and medium-sized enterprises. The LANCOM R&S®Unified Firewalls are powerful solutions for effective cybersecurity: ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Toshiba: artificial intelligence for frictionless shopping...
21.02.2019   #self-checkout systems #Trade fair special EuroCIS 2019

Toshiba: artificial intelligence for frictionless shopping

AI, edge computing and smart shelf technology at the EuroCIS 2019

Thumbnail-Photo: Goodbye paper receipts: All documents stored in one app...
16.05.2019   #epos systems #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk

Goodbye paper receipts: All documents stored in one app

What happens when the Receipt Provision Ordinance takes effect? We digitize!

They create a lot of work and endless waste: tons of paper receipts from cash registers end up with customers or the waste bin every day. In early 2020, all consumers must be given a purchase receipt in Germany. That’s what the law mandates. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Pioneering spirit in online retail: participation is welcomed...
27.02.2019   #online trading #food delivery service

Pioneering spirit in online retail: participation is welcomed

The startup company myEnso from Bremen shows how an online supermarket can be successful

Modern pioneers: At myEnso, customers have a say in the store’s product selection. The online store continues to evolve with its customers and focuses on quality, sustainability and an innovative spirit.We spoke with Isabella Henrichs and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Social commerce 2.0: artificial intelligence detects purchase intention...
18.04.2019   #e-commerce #sustainability

Social commerce 2.0: artificial intelligence detects purchase intention

Choosy analyzes fashion trends on Instagram – and redesigns them

The fashion world moves at lightning speed – and more than ever thanks to the rise of social media. In the past, key trends emerged off the runways twice a year during fashion weeks. Now Instagram et al. set the tone daily thanks to feeds of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital Signage Summit Europe - 30 % discount...
07.06.2019   #customer analysis #marketing

Digital Signage Summit Europe - 30 % discount

Many of the world’s foremost digital signage experts, thought leaders and leading technology and service suppliers will come together to present a unique mix of keynotes, conference channels, awards and exhibition showcase.

Now in its 14th year, DSS Europe is the leading European strategy event exploring the business and technology of Digital Signage and DooH - here is a 30% code for our readers – 415839The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Customer ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Top 8 supply chain technology trends in 2019...
07.05.2019   #supply chain management (SCM) #artificial intelligence

Top 8 supply chain technology trends in 2019

Technologies that supply chain leaders simply cannot ignore

Gartner, Inc. has identified the top 8 supply chain technology trends in 2019.Gartner’s top strategic supply chain technology trends have broad industry impact, but have not yet been widely adopted. They might be experiencing significant ...

Supplier

LANCOM Systems GmbH
LANCOM Systems GmbH
Adenauerstraße 20 / B2
52146 Würselen
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Aschmattstr. 8
76532 Baden-Baden
ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
Harburger Schloßstraße 28
21079 Hamburg
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen