As shoppers, we're becoming increasingly accustomed to new retail innovations—one-click ordering, paying with Apple Pay or Venmo, subscription services—coming from the high-tech world, so it's a little funny that one of the industry's latest novelties is one you've probably been using since grade school. Fashion vending machines dispense clothing and accessories in boutiques, airports, and shopping malls around the globe, and while they could be seen as a mere gimmick, major brands are embracing them as a means to market to new customers and provide a convenient way to shop on the go.
Earlier this month, Uniqlo announced that it would begin rolling out vending machines in airports and malls around the country (starting with 10 locations in August and September, including Oakland, Houston, and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York), offering ultra-light down jackets, Heattech tops, and other essentials via box or canister.
But the Japanese brand isn't alone in trying out the concept. Below, see six retailers where you can buy sneakers, socks, flip-flops, and more—all with the same technology you usually use to buy Diet Coke and M&Ms.
Uniqlo: Multiple Locations
Uniqlo is known for its well-made basics and innovative fabrics, so it makes sense that it'd be leading the charge with an inventive new approach that'll introduce the brand to a broader range of customers.
Urban Necessities: Las Vegas, Nevada
Cotton On: Multiple Locations, Australia
Dover Street Market: Tokyo, Japan, and London, England
I Hate Monday: Seoul, Korea
Havaianas: Multiple Locations, Australia
Havaianas first tested the flip-flops-from-a-machine idea back in 2011, and now you can find them in three Australian locations (two in Sydney and one in Ultimo), as well as pop-ups in Europe and Indonesia. Ideal for when you forget to pack that extra pair of shoes for the beach.
Up next: a top stylist's tips on what not to buy from fast-fashion stores.