Parent company Macy's is testing tablets and new apps to take the pain out of the retail experience while bringing up sales

Devoted online shoppers may soon have a reason to return to real-life retailers. As part of a tech-endowed new strategy, a major department store has started making its fitting rooms a whole lot smarter.

In Century City, San Francisco, and Palo Alto, CA, Short Hills, NJ, and Garden City, NY, Bloomingdale’s has installed wall-mounted Apple iPads in its dressing rooms as part of a smart-fitting testing phase. The tablets connect to the company's inventory-management systems, and can locate garments in store, as well as throughout its multimillion-item inventory network. In dressing rooms or their surrounding areas, a customer or a store associate can use an iPad to scan items and check for available sizes, colors, and reviews by other customers. The tablets also prompt customers with suggested outfit-building items, and can summon sales associates in pursuit of different sizes and styles.

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