High-tech interactive hangers offer a brief video showing a recommended combination of the product picked at store

Normally when a customer shops for, say, a jacket or a shirt, it’s up to the salesclerk to suggest matching items to generate a bigger sale. But now high-tech hangers can do the job. When a jacket is lifted from a rack, an embedded sensor sends a signal to a computer and switches on a brief video showing a recommended combination, or how it looks worn by a female idol. These so-called interactive hangers, developed by digital product firm teamLab , have succeeded in whetting consumer appetite at apparel and other fashion outlets targeting youngsters in a country where consumer sentiment has been depressed for years.

Currently, 12 Vanquish and other apparel brand outlets in Tokyo’s major shopping districts, including Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, as well as in Osaka and other cities are using the sensor-embedded hangers. The idea for interactive hangers came from teamLab’s experience with e-commerce websites: The clothes worn by models sold better than those displayed without.
Sales have doubled since the hangers were introduced when the Vanquish store in Shibuya was moved from the sixth to the third floor in September 2011. TeamLab is now in talks with more than 10 brands, including four that already utilize the digital installation, to expand to more shops, Nakamura said. The brands include ones in other Asian countries, he added.

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Miranda_KerrThe success of digital hangers led to the debut of the interactive display base by Samantha Thavasa, a popular brand of bags and other accessories, in Tokyo’s posh Omotesando district on April 5. When a customer picks up a bag from a small round table, a sensor triggers a video of Australian model Miranda Kerr saying “kawaii ( cute ). Experts say the system has huge marketing potential.

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