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Rent the Runway to open store in Georgetown

Rent the Runway, the designer wear rental company, will open a standalone location in Georgetown this fall.

The store is scheduled to open in mid-November in Cady’s Alley, the mini shopping district off M Street NW, according to EastBanc and Jamestown, which brokered the deal.  The 4,354-square-foot freestanding store will be the company’s second.

Rent the Runway was founded in 2009 by Harvard Business School classmates Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss. In the years since, it has become a retail darling, offering designer gowns, purses and jewelry for one-time rentals. A Vera Wang gown that retails for $1,995, for example, is available on the company’s site to rent for $275, while $450 Balenciaga sunglasses are available for $75.

The company’s shift from browsers to brick-and-mortars mirrors a nationwide trend as online retailers increasingly look to physical locations. Internet eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker now has a handful of stores and showrooms, as do the online men’s clothier Bonobos and jewelry site BaubleBar. Most recently, Birchbox, an online subscription service that offers beauty products by mail, opened its first standalone location in New York City.

Rent the Runway made its first foray into physical retail in 2012, when it set up a 250-square-foot showroom in New York’s SoHo. Locations within the The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas hotel and casino and the Manhattan department store Henri Bendel followed late last year.

The site of the upcoming store, at 3336 M Street NW, was previously occupied by framing shop L’Eclat de Verre. The location will be considerably larger than the the 1,700-square-foot outpost in New York’s Flatiron District that opened last week.

A spokeswoman for Rent the Runway declined to comment on upcoming locations.