An explanatory investigation: Fitting rooms as a personal service and a tool to increase sales in fashion apparel stores

Monika Freier, University of Rhode Island


Upon entering a fashion apparel store, a client seeks to satisfy a need that can be met by finding and buying the right dress, shirt, pants or other clothing items. The purpose of entering this kind of store seems obvious; however, in contrast to a food store, where most customers shop in order to buy general products and to satisfy urgent needs, the apparel business deals with more complex needs and wishes a customer brings to the process. Many consumers enter fashion apparel stores without preplanned purchases in mind. Although some customers look for an item without having a certain idea in mind, others prefer to browse in their spare time, while only a few visit a fashion apparel store with a specific request. Fashion apparel stores need to concentrate on making the merchandise more appealing and maintaining customer patronage. Not only should the store's physical attributes be considered, but every service and facility that is offered to the customer. Good service can make a significant difference and be an advantage over competitors. One component that affects a store's environment and the level of its customer service is the fitting room. While often overlooked in the past, fitting rooms have gained increased attention during recent years. New technologies have been invented in order to keep customers satisfied and gain their loyalty. The right interior, with enough service and entertainment should meet the customer´s needs and influence him or her to choose one store over another by helping to create a positive buying experience. The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate the importance of fitting rooms as it relates to sales. The development of fitting rooms and their future will be examined on the basis of existing literature. Additionally, a study has been conducted to learn about customer attitudes toward this area in apparel stores. The results indicate that customers generally show satisfaction with fitting rooms. However, they also hold negative attitudes toward some aspects of fitting rooms. Furthermore, this study reveals that men and women differ in their approaches and feelings when using fitting rooms. Considering the results of the study, retailers should seek to address the unconscious level of customers. With music, décor and other atmospherics, consumers can be encouraged to change their attitudes toward fitting rooms, reevaluating them as appealing and comfortable. These attitudes are more likely to result in a positive outcome and more sales. This study can offer insights for retailers, to find out about customers' attitudes and what they like and dislike about fitting rooms.

Subject Area

Design|Behavioral Sciences

Recommended Citation

Monika Freier, "An explanatory investigation: Fitting rooms as a personal service and a tool to increase sales in fashion apparel stores" (2011). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1490770.