A third of consumers (36%) reported using in-store fitting rooms less and less, a response particularly common among younger shoppers: almost half (45%) of 18-24 year olds surveyed reporting that they don’t use physical fitting rooms as much as they did 3 years ago.
What’s wrong with the fitting room?
Consumers reported that the main reasons for not using in-store fitting rooms are because they are too small (37%) and because of the queues (32%). Almost one in five respondents (18%) said they dislike leaving their cubicle in order to see themselves in a public, full-length mirror. The research also found age group-specific criticisms of in-store fitting rooms; for example, the primary complaint of half of 18-24 year olds (51%) is the queues, while the main complaint of 45-54 year olds was the size of the fitting rooms (43%).
The research also illustrates that fitting room issues vary according to where people live. For example, lighting crops up as an issue in the South East, with 16 per cent of consumers citing fitting rooms are ‘too dark’. In the North East more than a quarter (27%) of respondents said that they didn’t visit physical fitting rooms because they feel ‘under suspicion’ when they do. One in five (20%) of those surveyed in the East of England claimed the mess was their main issue, and 15 per cent of people in Yorkshire/Humberside and the South West reported that they were simply ‘embarrassed to get undressed’ in-store. In fact, when given the choice, 64 per cent of consumers surveyed would prefer to try on clothes at home than in-store.
Getting the right fit online
The alternative for many consumers has become shopping online. However, buying clothes online that fit correctly can also bring its own set of problems. 12 per cent of consumers report they ‘never buy online because of sizing concerns’ and a further 61 per cent said that they always or sometimes hesitate before making a purchase online due to sizing concerns. For around one in five (19%) consumers over 55 years old, worries over sizing information online mean they never purchase clothes online.
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