ConsumerWatch: Retailers Roll Out New Dressing Room Features

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Clothing retailers are increasingly offering  technological tools to get customers to try on clothes and make them excited about shopping.

Customers at San Francisco’s Industrie Denim store no longer have to ask anyone “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” They can now see for themselves with the store’s “Booty Cam.”

Industrie Denim’s dressing rooms are outfitted with a closed-circuit camera aimed at a person’s derriere. Store manager, Rob Jolin said it’s not only a tool to make shopping easier, but it’s completely private.

Luxury retailer Prada, for example, enhances the shopping experience at some stores with plasma mirrors similar to the butt camera, as well as doors installed in dressing rooms that go from opaque to transparent. Some stores also use computers to track and register merchandise people bring into the dressing rooms.

There are also online tools that allow you to virtually try on clothes from the comfort of your own home. With the help of a webcam, people can try on anything from sunglasses to dresses.

Consumer psychologist, Kit Yarrow, said the hi-tech dressing room tools are as much about customer assistance as they are marketing.

“What it tells consumers is that a store, that a retailer, is trying and they’re thinking,” she said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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