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'This is not a back-office; 150 staff is just for starters': Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman is keen to expand in Galway

'This is not a back-office; 150 staff is just for starters': Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman is keen to expand in Galway

'This is not a back-office; 150 staff is just for starters': Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman is keen to expand in Galway

Galway is at the forefront of American tech unicorn Rent the Runway's future plans to introduce its hugely popular online designer clothing rental service to Europe.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent, Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman - one of only a handful of female founders to build a $1bn (€896m) startup - said it could hire more staff in Galway than first planned. The firm - which is challenging the traditional retail sector in the US with a subscription service that allows women to rent designer clothes online - has in recent weeks moved into the refurbished historical Piscatorial School in Galway city centre.

Rent the Runway previously said it would hire 150 staff in Galway, but Hyman indicated that these jobs would likely be filled more quickly than expected. "This is not a back-office," she said.

"One hundred and fifty staff is just for starters and I don't see a reason to put a limit on it."

Part of the Galway office's remit is "to figure out the right approach to launch in Europe, (as) Europe is a completely different can of worms to the US", Hyman added.

There is currently no timeline on launching the service in Ireland or Europe, with a focus now on scaling further in the United States.

In Galway, Rent the Runway wanted "to be in the centre of town and restore a historic building, as opposed to moving into a modern office space, because our whole business is about the restoration of beautiful things from the past and making them brand-new again", said Hyman.

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