Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo Inc. will open its first physical outlet in Tokyo in mid-December exclusively to offer free styling advice to customers, the company said.
The new store will not sell clothes but have professional stylists recommend items to customers based on their fashion preferences and concerns.
The store will be reserved for exclusive use by each customer for more than two hours at a time. It will accept four to five visitors a day for the time being, with an eye to offering the service to around 1,000 people annually, according to the company.
The store, named "niaulab," includes the Japanese word "niau," which means "to suit or fit." It will have more than 700 items and use artificial intelligence to make suggestions.
The AI uses some 13 million data items on outfit coordination obtained from the company's fashion app, Zozo said.
The shop will be located in Tokyo's upscale Omotesando shopping district and start accepting reservations via the Line messaging app on Dec. 16, the same day the store is slated to open.
"A good fit can only be delivered based on the person's face, style and inner character," Zozo President and CEO Kotaro Sawada told a press conference in Tokyo on Nov. 9.
"We want to take advantage of face-to-face opportunities to provide our services," he said.
Zozo intends to put what it learns from the physical store to use in providing more accurate styling advice to customers who purchase clothes online.