Virtual fitting room provider, Fits.me, is to expand into the booming pet accessories market with the world’s first virtual fitting room for dogs. Initially available for dachshunds and greyhounds – two breeds that Fits.me has identified as being the hugely difficult to buy for – the virtual fitting room will help fashion-conscious pet owners buy better fitting clothes for their pooches online.
Demand for pet clothing has soared in recent years. Brits already spend over £30 million a year to dress and accessorise their four-legged friends, with that figure set to hit £35 million by 2015 according to market research firm MTW Research. However, many owners find pet sizing confusing and complain that the clothes they buy online often do not fit.
The virtual fitting room works by asking the dog owner for a few simple measurements, such as chest, neck and body length, haunch height and tail angle. This enables the Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room (K9 Edition) to display a photo showing exactly how the item of dog clothing will fit in each available size. Each photo is created using robotic dog mannequins, shaped like a dachshund or greyhound, which adjust to adopt the shape of young, old, well-fed, overweight or well-exercised specimens.
Following successful trials the system with one of the UK’s leading pet store chains, the Fits.me
Virtual Pet Fitting Room will evolve to provide fit information for labrador, golden retriever, cocker spaniel and chihuahua from June, with more breeds due to be added before the onset of the British winter, when no self-respecting animal leaves the house without a tartan gilet.
A virtual fitting room for cats is currently in development and Fits.me expects this to be made available in early 2014.
Heikki Haldre, founder and chief executive of Fits.me, said: “Catwalk, schmatwalk – its dogs that are at the ‘paw-front’ of fashion today, with Brits shelling out millions of pounds each year on chic clothes for their faithful friends. But with dogs varying in size and shape, it can be hard for pet owners to find clothes that fit, especially when shopping online. That’s a problem we want to solve with our virtual fitting room for dogs.”