Amazon will tell you what to wear
US e-commerce giant Amazon announced on Thursday it will open its first-ever non-virtual clothing store. It will also be the world’s first interactive shop at the proposed scale, where you won’t be followed around by a group of fussy consultants. Instead, you will get more than the average share of shopping assistance from an app.
The planned ‘Amazon Style’ store near Los Angeles will be smaller than the traditional department store (less than 3,000 square meters), but it is set to offer a number of perks to compensate for its size. For instance, customers will be able to scan any item they like with Amazon's mobile app to select the desired color and size. Most of the clothing will be kept in the back of the store, with only one sample of each item out on the sales floor. To try on the clothes, shoppers will enter a virtual queue for a fitting room, using the app to unlock it when it is ready and packed with the clothes they chose.
The room, dubbed “a magic closet” by Amazon’s Managing Director Simoina Vasen, is far larger than your average fitting cubicle, according to the promotional video shared by Amazon on Twitter. It has a touchscreen which enables shoppers to request more items, which are delivered straight into a two-sided closet, never interrupting the customer’s fitting process. The touchscreen also works as a virtual fashion adviser, offering items that could accompany the chosen garments and keeping a record of the clothes each customer scans to personalize recommendations.
“We wouldn't do anything in physical retail unless we felt we could significantly improve the customer experience,” Vasen said, commenting on the store concept. According to her, Amazon will offer hundreds of well-known brands in the new shop, but no named examples have been disclosed so far. The date when the store’s doors will open for fashionistas is also yet to be announced.
Amazon had 611 physical stores in North America as of December 31, 2020, but none of them were specifically clothing shops. The company has grown into America’s largest fashion retailer since it started selling clothes online back in 2002.
Meanwhile, interactive shopping technology is not an entirely new concept for clothing stores. Nike shops, for instance, allow Nike app members to scan codes on shoes and clothes while shopping to request them for fitting. Clothing brands Reformation and American Eagle, among others, also offer different assistive options. However, it seems for now that Amazon has combined them all.
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