Uniqlo to sell clothes via vending machines

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Uniqlo is to sell clothes via vending machine at 10 locations in US airports and high-footfall malls at cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston.

The first Uniqlo vending machine, branded “Uniqlo To Go” was installed last week in California at the Oakland International Airport.

The machines will dispense warm weather clothing including down jackets and Heattech heat-retaining shirts. Clothing is dispensed in boxes and cans and unsuitable items can be returned in-store or by mail.

The company has recently scaled back its US operations and has closed several stores in recent years due to disappointing sales figures. Vending machines are a new marketing strategy for the brand, which hopes to make sales from travellers who have forgotten to pack warm clothing for a trip as well as introducing the brand to new customers.

Marisol Tamaro, Uniqlo’s US marketing chief, said: “At the airport, you don’t have a lot of time to wait in line and explore a store. We’re trying to understand where we can be more successful without making a big commitment.”

Items will be priced at around $15 for a shirt and $70 for a lightweight jacket. Machines will stock a selection of sizes and colours.