Japanese Chain GU Lets You Shoplift For A Day, But Don't Call Yourself a Member of The Bling Ring Just Yet
Shoplifting is bad. We all know that, right? But what if a store invited you to steal from them, and not in an American Apparel, "we're terrible at security" way. What if you were actually allowed — nay, encouraged — to take items out of the store without paying for them? Japanese retailer GU has introduced a new policy permitting customers to leave with unpaid merchandise... as long as they return everything later that day.
GU is a casual clothing chain owned by the same company that operates Uniqlo. The new program, called GU Fitting, is designed to allow consumers to test-drive the pieces they are considering purchasing out in the real world instead of being confined to the tiny, badly lit dressing room area. Here's how it works, according to Kotaku:
You pick out clothes that you like. You then go to the GU Fitting counter and put in a request to test drive the clothes. Then, you leave the store! You must return to the shop sometime during that same day, and you can decide to purchase the clothes or not. GU Fitting is restricted to thirty people per day and three items per shopper.
To borrow items, customers only need to leave a mobile phone number and name, no photo identification or credit card number required. Sounds like GU really trusts the consumer! GU Fitting sounds awesome, but I'm skeptical, especially since the company doesn't ask for much of your personal information. It would be so easy to make off with your borrowed items! If I were running the program, I'd definitely collect the customer addresses, at least.
GU Fitting is only available at the brand's new shop in Shibuya, Tokyo until the end of this month. If the service does well, GU will consider expanding to other store locations. This is apparently the first program of it's kind — not too surprising when you consider the high probability that clothes will be lost, actually stolen, or damaged.
According to Kotaku, the most expensive item in a GU store is roughly the equivalent of 20 American dollars, which might explain the company's enthusiasm for the program. I can't imagine pricier retailers getting too excited about this idea, but how cool would it be to "test-drive" Chanel couture for a few hours? What do you say, Karl?