Did you know that there are some retail stores that use augmented reality? Personally, I have yet to shop in a store that has interactive mirrors but it’s cool the option exists in stores like Uniqlo.
Recently I came across a CBS Morning segment, thanks to my friend Sarah Markus, called “Uniqlo aims high.” CBS reporter, Serena Altschul looked inside one of the world’s largest fashion retail stores (fourth largest, to be exact) to see how they aim high in the fashion retail industry.
Uniqlo is a Japanese-based fashion retail store that is known for their trendy affordable clothes and Japanese influenced customer experience. Within the last thirty years, they have expanded to 12 different countries and opened 1,200 stores worldwide. The store has become so successful that the Founder and President, Tadashi Yanai is the richest man in Japan. They plan on expanding further in the next decade with hopes of opening 200 more stores in the United States. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Tampa, Florida is on their list!
There are currently 6 stores in the United States which are in New York and California. The CBS Morning segment went inside the San Francisco location with one of the Uniqlo executives. As shown in the video, Uniqlo focuses on having excellent customer service, store displays and the japanese experience – which include mirrors with LCD screens that allow you to have an augmented fitting room. Instead of trying on multiple pieces of clothing, their LCD mirrors shows you different color options to help you find the right look.
The Uniqlo executive in the video at one point said, “What builds a great business is the attention to detail. That allows us to control the entire experience and I think that’s a competitive advantage.” That made me wonder if augmented reality features, like LCD mirrors in fitting rooms are already turning into a must-have in retail stores across the world. Will augmented reality capabilities help Uniqlo take over the world, the retail word that is? Does augmented reality help businesses beat their competition, having this kind of advanced technology?
My prediction is that other retail brands will join the bandwagon, especially trendy and affordable stores with the same model as Uniqlo. Think, Forever 21 and H&M. It’s really just a matter of time before these guys make the investment and include LCD mirrors in their fitting rooms.
Augmented reality works for the Uniqlo brand though, due to the Japanese culture. Competitors, like Forever 21 will probably not have this kind of technology for a while. Not unless they see how it will improve their business and make money, of course. I wonder which fashion brand will bring augmented reality to their stores in the United States next!
So what do you think? How will Uniqlo embrace augmented reality next? How will augmented reality, like Google glass impact the fashion retail industry as a whole?
Share your thoughts in the comments box below! We’d love to hear them!