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Adidas Takes Personalization to New Level With In-Store Knitting Machine

If it can make products faster using personalization, Adidas said it could increase its full-price sales by 20 percent. And in a market roiled by perpetual promotions, the solution could be key for success.

At a pop-up Adidas “Knit for You” store in a Berlin mall, shoppers can design a sweater, have their measurements scanned so it’s made to fit, have it stitched by a knitting machine and finished by a person—all within four hours.

The cost for a custom sweater, according to Bloomberg, is 200 euros ($215), and with demand for personalization and experience as high as it has been, most consumers aren’t likely to balk at the price at all.

And the experience can hardly be topped when it comes to shopping.

Customers get to try out different patterns, which are projected onto their chests, and they can select or make changes based on hand movements picked up by sensors, making the whole process interactive. From there, they can either chose from standard sizes or pare down to undergarments for a more accurate body scan to determine the fit.

“If we can give the consumer what they want, where they want it, when they want it, we can decrease risk,” Bloomberg reported Adidas brand chief Eric Liedtke as saying. “At the moment we are guessing what might be popular.”

Adidas is currently reviewing feedback and data from the Knit for You experience to determine whether to roll out the concept, but the idea is that making things faster could mean selling them at full-price.

The company said by 2020, it wants 50 percent of its products to be made in a quick time frame, which is double the amount it’s doing now. Provided Adidas can get there, the company believes it could increase the amount of products sold at full price from what’s currently less than 50 percent to 70 percent in the next few years.