Innovation That Matters

In Japan, store lets customers wear clothes for a day before paying


Fast Retailing Co's GU Fitting service enables visitors to take clothes away for an entire day before returning to give them back or pay.

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Buying new clothes online is always a hit and miss affair when it comes to sizing or fit, but even trying items on in a high street store sometimes isn’t long enough either. To ensure customers’ clothes are definitely right for them, Japan’s Fast Retailing Co has opened a store with its GU Fitting service, which enables visitors to take clothes away for an entire day before returning to give them back or pay.

The company, which is also behind the global UNIQLO brand, opened a new GU store in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward last month. As part of a trial for the GU Fitting service, customers were allowed to try on up to 3 items after giving their name and phone number. Instead of being restricted to the changing rooms, guests could wear the items outside of the store for as long as they liked, as long as the products were returned the same day. The idea was to give customers a better idea of what the clothes would look like out in public after they’d been worn for a significant period of time. If they like the clothes, they could pay once they returned to the store, or simply handed them back over.

To reduce the chance of theft, the service was restricted to 30 customers a day and the items were typically on the lower price spectrum. The trial service has now ended. GU isn’t the only retailer to experiment with customer fitting, with JeansOnline recently tackling returns by getting its drivers to give online shoppers 15 minutes to try on their delivered goods and give them back before they leave. Are there other ways to reduce the number of returned sales in the fashion sector, or beyond?



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