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Interactive mirror proves a USP at Republic


An in-store touchscreen virtual mirror at fashion retailer Republic’s Westfield Stratford City store has helped draw in shoppers over the last month thanks to its interactive nature and use of social media.

Next week marks the end of a one-and-a-half-month trial between the clothing specialist and technology company Toshiba Tec, which involved the latter’s MiMirror product being installed in the retailer’s changing rooms.

Store Manager of the east London Republic Linsey Foster told Retail Gazette that the system, which allows consumers to take pictures of themselves wearing new clothes before sharing them on social media, has helped generate interest in the shop since it opened on September 13th 2011.

“I’m really excited about it, and groups of young girls in particular have been having fun with it,” she explained.

“Staff have been using it as a sales tool to get people to buy products. It’s quite a quirky thing and a unique selling point (USP).”

Republic will decide in the coming weeks if this is a service that it wishes to roll out to all stores across the UK, and consultations with Toshiba are set to take place at the start of November.

A key reason for Republic installing the mirror was to drive traffic to the company’s Facebook site, and looking on the page today it is clear there has been a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the interactive technology.

Barry Cox, Senior Manager for Retail Products at Toshiba Tec, said that the reaction to the MiMirror has been “very positive”.

“It’s about adding fun to a sometimes mundane task, so it has been good to see such positive engagement,” he explained.

Toshiba Tec has been operating the system in Australia for some time, but it’s deployment in Republic represents the first time it has been used anywhere in Europe.

If the service is rolled out in Republic’s stores nationwide it could lead to a raft of UK retailers following suit, with opticians and accessories specialists having already been targeted by Toshiba Tec as ideal retail clients.

Cox added: “It’s about driving footfall and pulling in groups of friends, which has both direct and indirect benefits for the retailer concerned.”

Published on Thursday 20 October by Editorial Assistant

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