Developed in the UK, The Magic Mirror is a new device using new technology and is being used in womens clothes shops in Europe. If successful, the devices are likely to work their way into retail clothes shops in the U.S.

This is how it works. The gadget sits near the area where there are clothing items. A shopper, selects a dress (for example), takes it to a scanner at The Magic Mirror and lets the device scan the barcode and bring the image of the dress up onto the “mirror” which is actually a computer screen. The Magic Mirror then views the shopper standing in front of it and returns information relevant to her size to find the right size dress for her.

This is how the Magic Mirror is likely to free up fitting rooms in womens clothes shops:



1. The shopper can now look at the results in the screen in front of her to get a sense of how the dress will look on her. Want it in another color? There will be other styles, colors and designs from which to choose while still standing at the mirror. If the woman decides the dress will not work for her, she puts it back on the racks and continues on. The time she just saved by avoiding the fitting rooms can really add up.



The retail fitting room experience is typically the low point of shopping for many shoppers. Many women purchase clothes that they have not tried on because they will not enter the fitting areas. There are many reasons why they avoid the fitting rooms. For one, some women do not like the small, poorly lit rooms and unflattering lighting.



2. Women also get aggravated at long queues of shoppers waiting to get a fitting room. Once in the room, the floor is often littered with trash, pins, and other debris. Getting in and out of clothes does not bring delight to shoppers. Instead, it brings aggravation, especially if the clothing item is not a keeper. It is not a pleasant experience but one of necessity when shopping at womens clothes shops. The Magic Mirror is likely to appeal to the women who are not fond of fitting rooms.



3. For many women, the word “shopping” does not always mean “purchasing.” Shopping means looking at clothing to get ideas, tap the imagination and stay current on fashion. Women are wired to be gatherers, not hunters and this new computerized device will allow that positive part of the shopping experience to flourish without the diversion of going in and out of fitting rooms.



The jury is still out on the success of this new computerized shopping assistant but is it a case of women's clothes shops using smoke and mirrors?

We will be watching for more details.This technology is at least a positive contribution to the apparel shopping experience.