Umbrella Rental Service to Test Pilot Program in NYC


Photo courtesy of walkingoffthebigapple.com

Photo courtesy of walkingoffthebigapple.com

If ever there was something that could be described as consistently inconsistent, it’s the weather. Here in Northern Kentucky, we just celebrated what we thought was the start of spring with temperatures in the high 70s over the weekend. Tomorrow, it’s supposed to snow. Looking to take advantage of the unpredictability of weather in New York City (and the misforecasts of weathermen on the East Coast), one start-up is set to launch a pilot program in late May or early June.

“ZipCar for umbrellas”
Described as “a ZipCar/Citibike service for New Yorkers caught in the rain,” ‘brellabox provides rental umbrellas for a nominal fee. According to a story in Business Insider, the rental umbrellas will be stored in 500 branded boxes throughout the city. Rentals for a 12-hour period will start at $2.50 and customers will also have the option of purchasing the disposable umbrellas for $15. The company is also considering offering an annual flat fee membership.

Pilot program to launch later this spring
Founded by John O’Conner, the company will offer free 16-hour rentals for users at the WeWork Charging Bull, a popular spot for entrepreneurs in the city’s Financial District, as part of the pilot program launch. Users who borrow an umbrella will only be charged if they do not return it. The Wall Street Journal reports that the pilot program will run about three weeks and the company expects a full rollout by Spring 2015 depending on the success of fundraising efforts.

The rental umbrella company is touting the service as a cheap, easy, and environmentally-friendly way to stay dry during the approximately 120 rainy days in the Big Apple each year. For more information on ‘brellabox, visit their website at www.brellaboxnyc.com.