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Sweater While You Wait

Adidas experiments with robots to speed merchandise manufacturing.


Waiting around for take out is one thing, but what about placing an order for some type of merchandise and waiting only a couple of hours before it comes off the manufacturing line.

That’s exactly the concept that Adidas is exploring with its new “Knit for You” store, which leverages robots and other high-tech wizardry to pump out a custom knit sweater in a few hours. Although it typically takes 12 to 18 months for its new clothing or sneaker designs to hit store shelves, the new pop-up shop in Berlin is an attempt to shorten time to market to a matter of hours, according to an article in Engadget.

Consumers comes into the store and can design, manufacture, and buy a customized merino wool sweater for $215. The first step in the process happens in a darkened room where dozens of designs and patterns get projected onto their chests, and they choose their preferred color combination on a nearby touchscreen, the article explains. Sizing is standard small, medium, and large, or customers can opt for a 3D laser scan if they want a more precise fit.

Once the selection is made, the store’s robots get to work, knitting, laundering, and packaging the sweater so it can be taken home in just under four hours, the article explained. Open for business for a couple of months, the article says the concept store has been a hit, with sales reaching 10 sweaters on a busy day. Adidas is evaluating performance to determine if it will expand the store concept to other venues.

I’d say that is some serious immediate, high-fashion gratification.

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