Me-Ality to Focus Fashion Tech Biz on Uniform Market
The market for work uniforms is giant, said Tuoc Luong, chief executive officer of fashion technology company Me-Ality, which is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif.
Just to consider its scope, think restaurant workers, delivery people and maintenance crews and how they are part of the landscape in almost any business scene, Luong said. He estimated that one-third of Americans wear uniforms to work.
He said Me-Ality has established a new focus: serving the work uniform business. In April, it announced a partnership with Canadian company Unisync Corp. B. James Bottoms, Unisync’s chief executive officer, said that Me-Ality’s sizing technology will help the company become even more efficient.
“Their sizing solutions have enabled us to implement leading-edge fit technologies for our customers, which have significantly improved service and dramatically reduced returns,” Bottoms said in a statement.
The new focus represents a shift for Me-Ality. It stresses a business-to-business focus. When it started in 2012, Me-Ality ran a business-to-consumer focused company. The company’s 10-by-10 booths, reminiscent of airport security scanners, were rolled out in more than 65 malls across the U.S.
People’s measurements were scanned with Me-Ality’s proprietary technology. People kept their clothes on during the scan, and their measurements were not revealed. Instead of giving out sizes, Me-Ality’s service supplied recommendations as to which retailers, brands, style and size would offer the best fit. Because a consumer’s measurements are not publicly identified or matched to the individual, a person’s privacy is guaranteed, Luong said.
Currently, Me-Ality only maintains two booths, one at a Levi’s store at the Levi Strauss Plaza in San Francisco, which is the headquarters of Levi Strauss & Co. Another is at the Bloomingdale’s store in Santa Monica, Calif., Luong said. The technology company ended its booth campaign because it successfully put together a database of one million people’s sizes, which helped the company finesse its sizing service. The booths became constraining. They took up valuable real estate at malls, and a clerk had to be employed to operate the machine.
Next year, Me-Ality will introduce a hand-held scanning machine, which will end the company’s dependence on 10-by-10 booths to run its service, Luong said.
Me-Ality also hopes to partner with omnichannel retailers and offer their sizing service at physical stores and online shops. With Me-Ality sizing services, consumers will have the most accurate sizing information at their fingertips, and retailers will be able to cut down on returns, Luong said.