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Brief Published: 17 Oct 2012

Uniqlo Opens Tech-Savvy San Francisco Flagship


Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has unveiled its first West Coast flagship in the US amid a fanfare heralding its interactive digital fitting room service.  

The 29,000 sq ft Union Square store in San Francisco is the first of the brand’s global addresses to boast ‘Magic Mirror’ technology. A 60-inch touchscreen monitor uses a Microsoft Kinect colour-changing engine, allowing customers to actually see the garments they have on change colour (virtually) before their eyes.

While the changes tend to appear as a wash of colour as opposed to showing subtle nuances that would occur according to fabric, it still presents a compelling way for consumers to flick through options in considerably less time than it would take them to physically try on the same number of items. They can then share the images with friends on Facebook or Twitter directly from the changing room.

The technology isn’t just confined to the fitting rooms. The shop floor is filled with rotating mannequins, while 77 LCD screens line the walls to show Uniqlo product promotions and marketing campaigns.

Yasunobu Kyogoku, Uniqlo US chief operating officer, said he chose San Francisco as Uniqlo’s fifth US retail location because “it's a hotbed of global technological innovation”. The brand has plans to open 20 to 30 further stores in the US next year.

See Stylus reports Virtual Fitting Rooms, In-Store Interactive and Super-Service in the Retail Sector for more on how retailers are using tech-enhanced service to make the process of trying on clothes less arduous.


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