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Style Lend mobile shopping app launches in LA and NY

By Sara Ehlers

May 22, 2015

Style Lend, San Francisco-based shopping application, is expanding to Los Angeles and New York this year.

The app is intended for iPhone users to be able to share their items with other women who have a similar size and style. The application uses information regarding your personal shopping preferences, location, and size in order to fit customer needs. Style Lend allows its users to share their high-end items with neighboring shoppers by letting them “borrow” or rent the pieces for an agreed amount of time. “The idea is to have women look amazing at a fraction of the price,” said Lona Duncan, founder and chief executive officer of Style Lend. “There’s 50 billion dollars worth of inventory sitting in [someone’s] closet and we want women to be able to share their unused items,” said Duncan. In exchange for the designer items, the owners receive payment in cash.

Style Lend plans to launch app due to increase in mobile traffic

The app allows women to search through hundreds of designer items such as Burberry and Alice & Olivia pieces. Once the user has found a piece that piques her interest, she can then set up a time and location with the owner to receive the piece. The borrower pays the owner and after use returns the piece in a bag. Dry cleaning expenses are the owner’s responsibilities for when she receives the pieces back.

So far, the largest user base for the business is in San Francisco. The company established itself in the Bay Area and currently has a large following there, as well as from other places across the U.S. Style Lend plans to make a move to New York this summer and launch in Los Angeles this fall. In the meantime, the customer base has not been established as well as with San Francisco locals. “People can still use it in Los Angeles currently and get the dress shipped there from San Francisco neighborhoods,” said Duncan. However, the launches hope to change that. With marketing events and social media use, Duncan hopes Style Lend will attract a market in Los Angeles.

With the upcoming launches, Style Lend has upcoming projects and events to promote it’s app. Duncan states the brand has participating in marketing events almost every day from Lana Del Rey’s concert, Bay to Breakers, fashion walks, and more. The company has also been expanding actively through social media by incorporating their brand in Pinterest, Instagram, Polyvore, Twitter and more.

Mobile shopping is a growing trend for 2015

The company currently has tens of thousands of users for the application. The app is currently available only for Apple products such as iPhones and iPads. Eventually the company has plans to expand to Android to reach more customers. The original concept to move to mobile apps was due to the fact that 60 percent of their customer traffic was coming in from mobiles. “[We] decided to get the mobile app to make it quicker and easier,” said Duncan. In shopping, Duncan states that mobile shopping is growing a lot. Because of the nature of the location-based app, creating the project seemed like a perfect solution for a lot of their users. “We’re just giving our customers the best experience possible,” said Duncan.

Mobile shopping has been growing in recent years and has proved to be a progressing economy. According to Fashionista, mobile traffic now accounts for 15 percent of all web traffic. Style Lend is not the first of its kind to use apps and mobile traffic to facilitate exposure and sales. Net-a-porter, Amazon, eBay, ShopStyle, Nasty Gal, and others have also been familiar with using smartphone applications to reach their customers. According to Comscore, Americans spent about three hours per month shopping on their phones and tablets. Style Lend is one of the companies that is capitalizing on this trend.

Style Lend has been established for about a year and a half. Their user base reaches over tens of thousands of residents and currently has followers from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.