Japanese clothing brand GU (a Uniqlo sister brand) have released a new concept into their new Shibuya Parco store (Tokyo) this month. The concept behind the store has been labelled “GU Fitting” and claims to be the first of it’s kind in the world.
So what is ‘GU Fitting’ and how does it work? Essentially it’s a service that allows you to test drive an item, or items, of clothing before you purchase it. It may sound a little crazy, and you’re probably wondering how it could work, or why it’s even a thing. Well GU want you to be able to really get to grips with their items, so they’re willing to loan you the items for the day. Say you walk into GU’s new store and your eyes fall on a cute dress, but you’re not sure how it will fit or feel. All you need to do is visit the GU Fitting Counter (they take 30 requests a day) with your item/s (3 max) and put in a request to ‘test drive’ them. You can meet up with friends at a cafe, do some window shopping, or maybe even sit around at home. All you have to do is return them by the end of the day. You can then decide whether you want to purchase them or not.
But won’t people steal the items? This part has a lot to do with the culture, in my opinion. GU are trusting their customers with the items and are only asking for a name and telephone number, no ID or deposit etc. This is because they have trust in their customers. If you lose your wallet in Japan, chances are someone will return it or give it in to the police. It’s because of this that a lot of Japanese people have a very trusting mentality and it translates well into schemes like this. As for the items on sale – most are priced around 2,000円 (around £11.50) or less, so this is purely fast fashion, nothing high-end.
GU have certainly come up with a unique way to sell their clothing, and with a large selection of on-trend quality items I can see this becoming a big hit with the brand. GU are already considering expanding the project if it is successful, and as a fan of the brand I would love to try the idea out. Will it catch on? I really don’t see it working outside of Japan, without a few changes. I could see it working in the UK if the customer left their card details/with a deposit scheme, however I’m not too sure the idea would catch on. It does seem like something that would only work in Japan, for now anyway. The store will be open until the end of June, so you still have some time to check it out if you’re in the neighbourhood.
What do you think?
Would it work in your country?
Would you ‘test drive’ an outfit/item of clothing?