Clothing chain Stripe to partner with Alibaba in ‘smart store’

Japanese clothing chain Stripe is partnering with online retail giant Alibaba to open a “smart store”.

The 60sqm physical store, stocked with Stripe’s Earth Music & Ecology branded garments, will feature enhanced technologies to use pooled customer data collected from online stores to equip staffers with information about shop visitors. The data, which could potentially include a store visitor’s online purchasing history, could help device-wielding workers make product recommendations and assist a customer in finding garments they are more likely to prefer. Purchases will be made via digital payment services.

Data collected from the store could influence Stripe’s future product lineup, including information from “smart hangers” that can detect when an item is purchased or just shown interest in. Smart mirrors allow customers to see garments in alternative colours while facial recognition systems will be parsing for gender and age.

Alibaba’s Tmall digital storefront, combined with its mobile payment platform Alipay, serves 550 million customers annually. The provision of the technology will allow Alibaba a unique opportunity to gather data from the physical retail realm.

Stripe International, which runs 1400 stores worldwide, is predicting total sales this year of around RMB100 million (US$15 million) from the 20 stores it operates in China.

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