If your startup is struggling with growth, you’re not alone: Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway is apologizing to customers for cancelled and delayed orders as the business tries to keep up with its expanding clientele.
Hyman claims the snafu, which started Sept.13, was due to “unforeseen issues associated with a significant transformation that we are executing in our fulfillment operation.”
[Related: Read more stories about growth problems and strategies]
“We realize we have let you down, and we need to fix it,” Hyman says in a statement posted to the company’s website. “We understand how frustrating this is for you, and we want you to know how valuable you are to us.”
There is currently a freeze on processing new customers for the billion-dollar startup, an online and in-store service that rents out designer dresses and accessories. The company was launched by Hyman and fellow Harvard Business School graduate Jennifer Fleiss in 2009.
A banner on the website informs customers that all one-time rentals will be scheduled for delivery after October 15, adding, “Thanks for your patience as we upgrade our system!”
A credit of $200 will be issued to clients who missed the merchandise they had ordered for a special event.
[Related: Why Rent the Runway’s Founders Launched a Startup Accelerator for Women Entrepreneurs]
This isn’t the first time Hyman went on an apology tour: in July, she sent an email to customers simply titled “We’re Sorry” that addressed lagging delivery times, subpar customer service and other quality control issues.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Rent the Runway has upwards of 100,000 active subscribers. In 2017, Hyman acknowledged ongoing problems in an interview with CNBC, and compared the explosive growth of the company to “entering our teen or adolescent years.”
Rent the Runway isn’t the only high-profile fashion company struggling: Forever 21 announced this week that it would file for bankruptcy. While the company is much older than Rent the Runway, and dealing with declining sales, executives are similarly pledging to right the ship. “We are confident we will emerge as a stronger, more competitive enterprise that is better positioned to prosper for years to come,” said Linda Chang, whose parents founded the brand in the 1980s.