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Zozo Ditches Body-Measuring Suit, Saying No Longer Needed

Japanese online clothing retailer Zozo Inc. is scrapping its body-measuring Zozosuit, saying that it now has enough data to produce custom-sized clothes for customers without creating 3-D models.

The polka-dot spandex suit will be scrapped by March, Chief Executive Officer Yusaku Maezawa said in a surprise announcement in Tokyo on Wednesday, following the company’s quarterly results. Zozo will ship 3 million Zozosuits before shutting down the initiative, compared with its previous forecast for 6 million to 10 million units. That will result in cost savings of about 3 billion yen ($26.5 million) in the fiscal year through March, he said.

“We’re at a stage where if we just know your height and weight, we can estimate the ideal clothes for you,” Maezawa explained. “You will no longer need a Zozosuit at all.”

The shares of Zozo fell as much as 5.8 percent before rallying in early Tokyo trade. The stock was up 3.5 percent at 2,815 yen at 9:16 a.m. Zozo is now down about 40 percent since mid-July, when it began distributing the Zozosuit and using it to sell its new brand of custom-made clothes.

Going forward, shoppers can input their height, weight, and other basic details, which combined with a database on body sizes, user profiles and product preferences, will let Zozo deliver custom-sized apparel that will be sold under the company’s private clothing brand. “We have enough data,” he said. “Machine learning is an incredibly potent tool.”

The Zozosuit has become a phenomenon in Japan, with social media full of pictures of people trying on the garb. The company said it received orders for 15.4 billion yen worth of clothes from Zozosuit users since distribution began a few months ago. It has fulfilled just a third of that due to bottlenecks in production and quality issues. These will be fixed before the end of the year, Maezawa said.