Improving Store Dressing Rooms: Six Tips From a Seasoned Shopper

The best lit stores, with striking window displays, can have yukky fitting rooms. Consumers like me want better dressing rooms and retailers are getting the message. Many stores are turning to “social retailing” to improve sales.

A discount store in my home town, part of a national chain, just remodeled its fitting rooms. While the lighting is better, and there are more hooks for garments, I wouldn’t give the rooms a five-star rating.

Though the walls are a better color, the fitting rooms are still cramped and messy.

What do shoppers want? Jeanine Poggi lists some wants in her “Forbes” article, “Dressing Rooms of the Future.” New innovations include responsive mirrors that take photos of you in each outfit and let you compare the photos before making a decision. Other innovations include Internet connections that let shoppers take photos of themselves with their pocket phones and send the photos to friends.

Scanners that can determine your size are also on the improvement list. But don’t expect them any time soon. One scanner costs about $75,000. All of this sounds great, but I think “social retailing” is missing some obvious things. I think every dressing room should have these things.

1. Dressing rooms should be clean. When I’m trying on clothes I don’t want to look down and see dust balls rolling across the floor, an experience I’ve had far too often. I don’t want to see accumulated dirt in the corners of the dressing room either.

2. The rooms should be easy to find. Too often, at least in my experience, the dressing rooms are in a back corner of the store. Upscale stores in my area block the path to the dressing rooms with clothing racks and tall displays. If I can’t spot the dressing room right away I leave the store.

3. Every room should have a chair or bench. A chair would be a place for a friend to sit and chat, to rest a purse or briefcase, and sit when taking off slacks.

4. Rooms should have doors, not curtains. Wandering kids can lift up curtains and the curtains also move when people walk by. I think the doors should open and close easily and lock securely.

5. Stores should have a clearing system. Often, when I enter a dressing room, I find garments that have been left by the previous shopper. These garments take up interior space and there are no empty hooks for the items I want to try on. From my point of view, staff should clear out the rooms regularly.

6. Dressing rooms should be maintained. These rooms take a beating and many are in sorry condition, with fraying carpet, dirty walls, and loose hooks. An attractive and maintained dressing rooms send a message to shoppers. That message: We care about the store and you.

According to “The Wall Street Journal,” some stores are putting your name on the door to make shopping a personal experience. Having my name on the door won’t influence my buying decision. Clean, easy-to-find, well-maintained rooms will and I will come back again.

Copyright 2010 by Harriet Hodgson

Post time: 10-07-2017