Launched by Karen Rodgers O’Neil, a longtime marketing executive, and Daniel Perrone, a serial entrepreneur and technology executive whose previous company, BroadMap, was acquired by Apple; The Shed hopes to take the rental model that Home Depot has turned into a billion dollar business line and take it to the masses.
Rental has become more mainstream in recent years with the advent of apparel, lodging, transportation and luxury goods rental services leveraging technology to transform the customer experience. The Shed was designed to bring that same evolution to consumer goods rentals which, until now, remained fragmented and wrought with antiquated ordering systems, unpredictable product quality and limited delivery. As Baby Boomers enter a life stage where “less is more” and Millennials are placing value on experiences more than things, The Shed is transforming a $30 billion consumer products rental market and unlocking a new commerce channel.
Daniel J. Perrone, CEO of The Shed, explained that in addition to changing the rental experience for consumers, his company is creating a new distribution and revenue channel for product manufacturers and retailers. “As the rental economy grows, the buying economy is shrinking. So we’ve created a solution that allows our partners to participate in the shift,” Perrone said.
Companies like Stanley Black & Decker and Primus camping equipment put their products on The Shed platform to serve the growing interest in rental. Retailers like Richmond’s Green Top Hunting and Fishing partnered with The Shed to give customers a new way to access their large product assortment of outdoor recreation products and try them prior to buying. Others like Mobility Plus added wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and Replacements, the largest china dealer in the country, is offering a “Party in a Box” dinner, cocktail or tea party to reach Millennials and others who can now dress-up their table for a special occasion.
In all cases, partners maintain ownership of their products, The Shed stocks the inventory, manages the logistics, maintenance, customer service and marketing, and splits the rental revenue with the partner. The result is that partner companies can earn more than the traditional rental model, test new products, glean useful data, and continuously refresh inventory to maximize the customer experience.
“We’ve completely reimagined the everyday product rental experience,” explained Daniel J. Perrone, CEO of The Shed. “It just so happens that our rental marketplace solution comes at a time when consumers need it most due to the current pandemic and economic uncertainty. We’re providing an easy alternative to buying that many desperately need.”
People living within 25 miles of Richmond, Virginia and Denver, Colorado, The Shed’s first two markets, are now able to tackle home improvement projects while sheltering in place and rent brand new Dewalt tools, from tile saws to power washers to hedge trimmers. They can also rent a kayak or tent, games like Pop-A-Shot basketball or a carpet cleaner from Bissell. Customers visit iShed.com to select products, rental dates and delivery preference, which includes same day delivery or pick-up at The Shed.
“The beauty of our platform is that we can have products from the largest tool manufacturer in the world, as well as really cool specialty items like the Burly smokeless fire pit and one-of-a-kind farm-style portable bars built locally here in Richmond,” Perrone explained.
The company plans to open additional markets in 2020 and continues to add new partners weekly.