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Today in Retail: Retailers Mull Clothing Rental to Attract Customers; Walmart Adding to Supply Chain Workforce

In today’s top retail news, brands are looking to lend consumers apparel in a bid to increase conversion rates, while Walmart is adding 20,000 employees to its supply chain to help ease bottlenecks. Also, Afterpay is bringing its DROPSHOP shopping experience to the Big Apple next week, and JCPenney may be prepping to a buy now, pay later (BNPL) announcement.

Retailers Turn to Clothing Rental as Consumer Acquisition Tactic

Banana Republic, Express and other major apparel brands have turned to technology and services company CaaStle to help build clothing rental subscriptions, which are quickly becoming a way to acquire new, particularly younger, consumers. Though subscription sign-ups have slowed since the boom seen at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, PYMNTS research found that 80% of all U.S. consumers are now signed up for at least one subscription service.

Walmart to Add 20K Supply Chain Workers

Walmart is working to help improve bottlenecks in the global supply chain by hiring 20,000 employees to work in distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices. Walmart will host hiring events Sept. 8 and 9 to fill openings for permanent, full- and part-time order fillers, freight handlers, lift drivers, technicians and management positions.

Afterpay Enlists JD Sports, Crocs for Snapchat Virtual Try-On Experience

Afterpay will bring its DROPSHOP virtual shopping experience to New York’s Times Square next week, featuring two limited-edition items from Crocs and JD Sports. The in-person drop will allow consumers to virtually try on items via Snapchat’s augmented reality (AR) technology, and social media star Bretman “Da Baddest” Rock, will unveil an exclusive limited-edition five-pack collection of Jibbitz charms, available in pre-release quantities.

JCPenney Teases BNPL Announcement As Retailer Wants To Meet Consumers Where They Are

Melissa Pint, chief information officer for JCPenney, said in a PYMNTS TV segment with Karen Webster that the retailer has heard from customers who want to utilize BNPL to complete purchases, and JCPenney will likely have an announcement later this year about how it plans to meet that need. Although most customers still pay with debit and credit cards, Pint said “all retailers, especially in the digital age, need to be looking at alternatives … and making sure that they’re the right options for our customer base.”

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