You can get Best Buy products, Snapchat Spectacles and Instagram likes from a vending machine these days. You can even get a car. Now, Uniqlo wants to add its clothing to the myriad of items you can snag from a machine. The retailer is planning to install 10 apparel-spouting vending machines in markets across the US over the next two months. Locations will include airports and shopping malls in New York, Houston and Oakland, among other cities.
Uniqlo expected to do much better than it has in the US, where brand recognition and popularity failed to reach the suburbs as strongly as it did in major cities. The company has, therefore, shifted its focus onto more temporary locations like pop-ups and now vending machines. "We're trying to understand where we can be more successful without making a big commitment," Uniqlo's US marketing chief, Marisol Tamaro, told the Wall Street Journal.
The vending machines will sell just two items -- heat-retaining shirts and lightweight down jackets -- in a variety of sizes and colors that will be dispensed in boxes and cans. Anything purchased can be returned if need be to a Uniqlo store or through the mail.