Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Need jewelry to go with that Gucci rental?

"In less than three years, Bag Borrow or Steal has built a loyal following of female shoppers who pay monthly fees to rent trendy handbags from Chloe, Fendi, Marc Jacobs and other designers.
Now, the Seattle online retailing startup plans to use a new $8.25 million venture capital round to expand into high-end jewelry and watches.
Bag Borrow or Steal Chief Executive Michael Smith, who built Lands' End into a billion-dollar business and led a turnaround at, believes that consumers are ready to embrace the concept of luxury borrowing.
And the 40-year-old executive said that Bag Borrow or Steal -- which moved its headquarters from Florida to Seattle last summer -- is poised to lead the way.
'I think we have the potential to be a billion-dollar company, which gives you some idea of how big I think the category can be,' Smith said. 'We are obviously in the very early stages of this segment, but that is what gets me excited.'
The company's prospects also have energized the venture capitalists, including Madrona Venture Group, which led the round."

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