Butt-cam: coming to a fitting room (or your nightmares)

I'm not sure whether to give Jeans West a standing ovation or recoil in horror at the news that they're going to roll out butt-cams in their change-rooms (can I also just share with you that to locate the clip below, I had to search "butt-cam" on Youtube and I am still a bit cross-eyed from the results that popped up but THAT is how far I will go and how self-sacrificing I am for you, dearest MM reader).

Anyway. I think if there had been more butt-cams in more of the world's change-rooms, I would have far fewer STUPID clothes (stupid = unflattering) and far more MONEY in the bank.

News Ltd's Jen Melocco reports….

With those famous words "Does my bum look big in this?" in mind, retailer Jeans West has rolled out the first of its butt cams.

The camera snaps an image of your backside on your own personal screen in the changeroom so you no longer have to venture into the main store and run the gauntlet of unflattering light and mirrors.

Jeanswest CEO Stephen Younane said the camera was a "way to bring some fitting room fun to the experience of purchasing a pair of jeans"and alter the once daunting fitting room experience.

But leading retail consultant Stephen Kulmar, of Retail Oasis, said changeroom novelties such as the butt cam have more to do with securing sales and offering service as retail stores cut down staff numbers.

"For males the changeroom is where the sale is made," Mr Kulmar said.

"Men don't like going shopping so if you can get them into the changeroom this is where the sale is made. And for women in particular, if they think their behind looks good in something, they'll buy it."

Mr Kulmar said developments such as the butt cam also compensated for decreasing numbers of sales staff. "Instead of adding staff, they are re-organising their service," he said.

While Jeans West was the first to offer the service in Australia, technology has been lurking in changerooms internationally for several years. British chain Ted Baker installed cameras along with video screens showing films to coax its customers to buy up.

US jeanswear giant GAP trialled clothes with a radio frequency that could be "read" when brought into the changeroom and then offered accessorising suggestions on a personal video screen.

There are really so many things to be grumpy about when it comes to fitting rooms, aren't there?MM reader Maz is grumpy. Last week she wrote me this email:

Given your experience in the world of fashion and retail, I wonder if you can shed some light. Why is it that clothing stores insist on applying a 5 garment only policy when using their changing rooms. I actually think it defeats any purpose, because I am not going to run out of the change rooms in my undies to collect that sixth offending garment being held so kindly by the door bitch. I have questioned the store staff regarding the rationale for their policy, but have received little more in response that 'it's the policy' or 'we don't want to have too many garments needing to be put away' (umm, hello, if you hold them and make me run out to collect them, its all the same anyway, so you may as well make me happy and let me take them all in at once.).

Yesterday I was in a store, and wanted to try on swimwear. But with some suits consisting of 2 pieces, I was quickly over my allocated 5 item limit. Despite me pointing out that the offending item formed part of a set, the 5-item-only policy was strictly applied. Moreover, I was the ONLY person in the change rooms and would not have held anyone up by trying on the sixth item. (I in actual fact have the potential to occupy a changing room longer if I am running around collecting the additional items in my undies or re-dressing in order to collect them).What if I want to buy a lot of things? Are the retailers not just doing themselves out of business by keeping me happy and letting me try on as many things as I want?

Maz, I have no answers for you, just sympathy. As I'm sure, do most people who are reading this now and just busting to share their fitting room gripes….

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