True Fit CEO shapes conversation on apparel, shoe fit challenges at UNT retail industry talk
What: The Executive + Scholar Lecture Series at the University of North Texas.
When/Where: 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 16 (Wednesday) in the Ballroom (Room 314) of the UNT University Union at 1155 Union Circle in Denton.
Cost: $50 for the general public and $25 for non-UNT college students. Free for UNT faculty/staff/students with UNT ID. To purchase tickets, contact Lisa Wallace, director of development for the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, at 940-369-7051 or Lisa.Wallace@unt.edu.
Parking: $2 per hour in the Union Circle Parking Garage at 350 Welch Street in Denton. Only credit cards are accepted.
Media: Contact Monique.Bird@unt.edu or 940-369-7782 for parking and media passes.
DENTON, Texas (UNT) — Retailers say between 20–40 percent of the apparel bought online is returned, and the No. 1 reason for returns is poor fit. While individual weight fluctuations could be the cause, for many shoppers the true culprit is the wide size discrepancies across brands. One retailer’s size 14 could be a size 10 elsewhere.
Bill Adler, True Fit’s founding chief executive officer, will discuss this topic and ways big data analytics can help solve this costly disconnect at the next Executive + Scholar Lecture Series at the University of North Texas. The talk, “One Size Does Not Fit All,” will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 16 (Wednesday) in the Ballroom (Room 314) of UNT’s University Union, located at 1155 Union Circle in Denton.
“As online purchases continue to increase for every retailer, high returns due to inaccurate fit can heavily impact profit margins,” said Linda Mihalick, the new senior director of the Global Digital Retailing Research Center at UNT. “The topic of fit and customer satisfaction is more important than ever as retailers seek to serve customers well in all channels.”
Retail returns due to ill fit are a big problem. Online customers sometimes buy multiples of the same garment in different sizes, creating an inventory clog that prevents sales to others. Also, shipped returns are expensive for brands and shoppers alike and often take too long to get items back to the store. This may force the store to mark down the price.
Adler’s company, True Fit, aims to fix this. It utilizes large-scale data analysis to help retailers pair customers with the best possible fit for attire and to provide brands with insights into consumer sizing trends. Under his leadership, the company has raised more than $30 million in venture capital to map the largest data-discovery platform – Genome™ – for footwear and apparel in the world.
Joining the talk will be one of the few experts on vanity sizing; fit and size discrepancy; and the psychological effect of size on self-esteem and body image: Tammy Kinley, a professor of merchandising at UNT. An expert also in consumer behavior, Kinley’s studies are extensively cited by news outlets nationwide, including USA Today, The Washington Post and Real Simple magazine. She has also been published in a number of academic journals, including Clothing and Textiles Research Journal.
The lecture series is sponsored by the UNT Global Digital Retailing Research Center, housed in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. Each fall, the center invites a retail executive and a scholar to campus to spark conversations around topics of interest to the digital retailing community.