Fast Retailing's GU store lets shoppers leave without paying

Uniqlo sister brand GU is letting shoppers walk out of the store wearing merchandise without paying for it. The brand's owner, Fast Retailing Co., wants customers to test out the clothing or coordinate with other brands before making the purchase.

The GU store in Shibuya, Japan opened on June 18 and the test of the GU Fitting program ran through the end of the month.

"Customers will be asked to leave their names and telephone numbers with us but can try out our items anywhere outside as long as they return by closing time," Daisuke Hase, a spokesman at GU, told the Wall Street Journal.

Items that were worn out of the store but not purchased were then used as display items or recycled.

GU said it would call customers that didn't return on time with merchandise, but Hase did not believe there would be any trouble.

"I think most of the people who use this service will go back to their own homes, try and coordinate our product with what they already own and come back to the store," he said.

The trial program was available to up to 30 shoppers a day, and customers were allowed no more than three items.

The Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo began expansion into the United States this spring and plans to open up stores through spring 2015. The company is a division of Fast Retailing Co., the world's fourth largest apparel retail company and also parent company to Helmut Lang and Theory.

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journal article

Related stories:
Uniqlo expanding to Boston, Philadelphia
Uniqlo partners with MoMA, adds Starbucks
JCrew, Fast Retailing merger talks break down
J.Crew could be sold to Uniqlo's parent company
J.Crew, Abercrombie, Ralph Lauren may soon be sold on Amazon

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