Retail is undergoing a transitional time and merchants are starting to implement more innovative ways of attracting consumers. One of the latest companies looking to take a new approach to reaching consumers in a more convenient fashion is Japan-based clothing retailer Uniqlo with the launch of its vending machines.
What makes this offering unique is that these vending machines will dispense clothing items for those on-the-go consumers looking for las- minute items to help with unexpected weather. Consumers interested in the Uniqlo brand will see heat-retaining shirts and lightweight down jackets with a limited amount of sizes and colors. Any possible returns will be processed in stores or by mail.
Within the remainder of August, Uniqlo is rolling out 10 vending machines at airports and malls throughout the United States to help boost its presence. Places that can expect to see these machines will be in New York, Houston, Oakland, Calif., and a few additional cities.
Through these vending machines, Uniqlo is helping to introduce itself to more consumers at a lower price point. After opening up 45 stores in the U.S., its sales started to slow down, which caused Uniqlo to give the ax to its planned expansion of hundreds of stores in the country. Opening up full-scale stores is a big commitment, and if this proves successful, it’s something that other retailers may start investing in down the line.
One area that’s made a surprise pop up in this arena is Walmart, with its standalone kiosks that offer a curbside pickup service for consumers on the go. This shift away from investing in brick-and-mortar for Uniqlo is something that’s been happening more with retailers.