…could this be a PR stunt at all?

During a media monitoring session here at The Retail Room this week one well-crafted PR story caused some debate amongst the team. According to research from retail property company Hammerson, 71 per cent of British women are ‘put off clothes’ after scrutinising themselves in a changing room mirror.

Hammerson have responded to that statistic, which will clearly be of some concern to fashion retailers in their centres, including Birmingham’s Bullring Shopping Centre, Bristol’s Cabot Circus and the Croydon Centrale, with a nifty little PR stunt – trialling banning all mirrors in selected shops in a bid to boost body confidence amongst its shoppers.

Instead of relying on their reflection, customers will instead have to make purchasing decisions based on the opinions of friends and family, or even just how they feel in an outfit. Our reactions to this story were varied – wholehearted enthusiasm for a campaign championing female body image, agreement because “does anyone try anything on anymore?” (Thank you Alec, B2B manager and prolific online clothes shopper), horror (“HOW could you buy something without SEEING it on?”) and of course healthy cynicism at a stunt that seeks only to really boost customer spend, rather than customer confidence.

Whatever your opinion, it proves that changing rooms and their mirrors are an ever-fertile ground of opportunity for PR and marketing activity and engagement with shoppers, from personal shoppers and simple stickers bearing social media icons and opportunities to win for sharing your purchase, to augmented reality mirrors that give out compliments as you pass or ‘smart mirrors’ that give you the changing room experience without visiting a store.

Would YOU buy an outfit without checking a mirror?

Complete our twitter poll and let us know!

 

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