You’re probably renting more of your life than you realise 

by Jonathan Hurvitz. Request the normal individual on the road how a lot they rent on a day-to-working day foundation and they’ll probably explain to you, “not much”. They may well pay rent for the house or condominium they live in, or after in a whilst rent a car though on vacation. A several a long time ago, they may have regularly rented movies or online games, but which is about it, right? Completely wrong.

We lease much a lot more of our lives than we realise – with every little thing from the entertainment we take in to the electronics we depend on, and even the software we use for work is effectively currently being rented to some degree or other. Those people are just a couple examples of the dozens of points we count on each day and which we rent. And if international trends are nearly anything to go by, the position renting plays in our lives will only maintain increasing.

Rentals by another name 

The rationale we never typically assume of many of these factors as leasing is that we ordinarily refer to them as subscriptions. But in several respects, subscriptions are a sort of renting. Consider about it. If you use a top quality songs membership support like Spotify or YouTube Songs, you’re effectively leasing entry to their music and podcast library. The exact is true for online video-streaming expert services these kinds of as Netflix or Disney In addition. And when you use subscription-based parts of software program these kinds of as Microsoft’s Business office 365 or the compensated variation of Google Workspace, you are efficiently leasing accessibility to the computer software.

But it is not just subscription services that are driving new varieties of rental. It is also turn into so easy to make common, 1-off rentals that we do not actually believe of them as rentals. Following all, what is Airbnb if not the holiday rental taken to its reasonable excessive? And when you Uber someplace, are you not leasing a driver (and their car) for a set distance?

The phenomenon whereby rentals have come to be so widespread has been ascribed to people today staying “willing to spend great money for the privilege of not getting to own something”. And which is obviously a sturdy motivator for quite a few of the examples I’ve listed earlier mentioned. Imagine how quite a few CDs you’d have to own to equal the range of songs in your Spotify library? Or how substantially litter you’d have to offer with if you experienced to bodily invest in all the application you use?

Real-world renting 

The privilege of not proudly owning a little something is progressively locating its way into the authentic earth far too. Of class, we have often been equipped to rent points like garments (believe suit rentals for Matric dances or weddings) and South Africans have been capable to hire furniture and appliances for many years. The variance now is that it’s increasingly becoming a lot less and a lot less remarkable. Even Apple wishes you to be capable to hire your Iphone by spending a membership cost – and what is a cell phone agreement, if not a rental?

Investigation released earlier this year displays that the world wide apparel rental current market is set to be worthy of US$1.96 billion by 2023, up from US$1.18 billion in 2018. The world furniture rental marketplace, in the meantime, is envisioned to access US$139.05 billion by 2029, up from US$73.19 billion in 2022. This shift in momentum is comprehensible way too. Millennials and Gen Zs, who now make up additional than half of the world’s workforce, are less intrigued in accumulating “things” and much more on paying out their time, energy and resources on pursuits that align with their values.

That’s even more pertinent when you consider the progress in concepts like digital nomadism. If you are travelling the world and doing the job remotely, then the previous matter you want is to be weighed down by a bunch of belongings.

The conclusion of ownership? 

So, does this suggest that the period of possession is coming to an conclusion? Which is not likely. There will normally be the desire to have matters that are ours and that we possess. As a substitute, the rise of rentals throughout a variety of sectors reveals the starvation for a far more dynamic, versatile and consumer-to start with product. Stores will need to have an understanding of this and embrace the psychological shift close to our comprehending of ownership versus entry. It in addition calls for shops to understand the development and to want to reply to buyer preferences as the initially port of contact for manufacturers.

The actuality that we have currently embraced renting so significantly in our day-to-day life as people, without having necessarily even being knowledgeable of it, reveals how considerably of a shift there is been. The important matter now is for shops to embrace that change and give people the overall flexibility they so plainly want.


Most important picture credit history:



 Jonathan Hurvitz is the Team CEO of on the internet retailer Teljoy and a registered Chartered Accountant in South Africa.




– Receive the Retailing Africa newsletter each Wednesday • Subscribe in this article.

Leave a Reply