Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Finally - a measurement scanner to ensure clothes that fit!

The science fiction fantasy of a machine that takes your measurements has arrived in the form of Intellifit. So far there are only 13 such machines (Most in the US, but there is one in the Regent Street Levis store). The machines take 200,000 measurements from your fully clothed body in about ten seconds.

The company charges nothing as it collects a commission from the retailers (so far only 8, all US brands) it suggests you use.

This sounds like a very interesting device though limited in usefulness until more brands have bought into the system. One to watch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Who else wants lower returns for clothes?

Newly launched claims to have half the return rate of the average fashion retailer. The secret? Only showing clothes that both fit AND suit your body shape. The site asks women for their measurements and style preferences. This allows MyShape to present clothes chosen specifically for a shopper's shape, size and lifestyle.

Getting sizing right is rare. My wife found the Boden website very hard going when searching for sale items because she had to open every product page to see if her size was still in stock. In the end she just gave up. A 'filter by size' function would have made her experience much better.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Traditional mail order is dying. Long live mail delivered retail!

Verdicts' latest report about the UK mail order business shows that traditional mail order is fading away. The 'Big Books' such as Shop Direct, Littlewoods, Otto, Freemans, Grattan and Redcats relied on local agents and an ability to offer credit. Now that credit is freely available to all and with the rise of discount retailers on the high street, this once dominant sector of the mail order market seems to have few prospects.

And yet more and more customers are buying remotely and getting products delivered.

I've always maintained that the most interesting figure to examine would be the split between delivered retail sales versus sales of goods collected from a store. Sadly no-one seems to be capturing or estimating this. I'm confident that if the delivered/collected percentage was calculated over the last decade it would show that although mail order is in steep decline, mail delivered retail (which would cover ecommerce, TV shopping and catalogue sales as well as multi-channel sales from high street brands) is rising.

Verdict - over to you!