E Umbrella, an umbrella sharing startup that launched in China just three months ago, has reportedly lost most of its inventory. Why? A high percentage of its users decide to keep the umbrella instead of returning it. In less than three months, the company has reportedly lost 300,000 umbrellas. The umbrellas, which were placed in 11 cities across China, appear to be a success as many are renting but the big problem is that many are not returning them.
In recent years, sharing companies have become quite popular across the world. Bicycle and car sharing companies have been a success in most countries but the umbrella idea hasn’t been bad either, with thousands of umbrellas being rented since April. The difference between the other companies and E Umbrella is that they don’t have to keep replacing the inventory because it’s not returned. E Umbrella launched back in April and charges customers nearly $3 for the umbrella deposit and $0.07 every 30 minutes. The umbrella stations are available across 11 cities and all users have to do is pay for the umbrella on the app. After the payment, users receive a code to unlock the umbrella.
E Umbrella’s problem doesn’t appear to be renting but seeing those umbrellas come back. The loss of umbrellas isn’t stopping the company though. According to the founder, the company plans to add 30 million more umbrellas in 2017. The founder also revealed that each umbrella costs the company nearly $9.
Another problem with E Umbrella is that the company doesn’t charge unreturned fees, which means users don’t have to really worry about returning the umbrellas. The lack of information and stations to return the umbrellas also appear to be a problem for the company. The loss doesn’t sound like much when the company has plans to add 30 million umbrellas by the end of the year. But the launch was less than three months ago, so the company is going to have to come up with some ideas to reduce its inventory loss.