In a shocking turn of events, Wacoal's Japan-based bra vending machine has been disabled after a short and uneventful four-month trial run. The lingerie line debuted its vending machine in August at the brand's Une Nana Cool boutique in Tokyo to somewhat limited fanfare. Wacoal was vending its Fun Fun Week bras for $30 a pop, but the concept failed to engage patrons of the store.
While the boutique staff seemed delighted to have a self-operated machine available to customers when other sales staff were occupied, many consumers seemed to be on the fence about the machine. After all, finding a perfectly fit bra is a lengthy process akin to finding the ideal pair of jeans. (Or, like, the perfect sex partner.) Using a machine to calculate a potential match proved to be all too technical for consumers, as evidenced by the abysmal sales data from the machine. Only seven bras have been sold in the past four months, and I have to wonder if those sales had more to due with pure curiosity than necessity.
Vending machines for specialized items have recently become a popular fad, from the Hudson Hotel's luxury vending machine and the Chanel cosmetics machine that debuted in Selfridges in April. Vending machines are perfect for quick-fix items such as a snack or, as the case may be, a tube of mascara, but bras are simply not one of them. Hopefully, the vending machine trend will soon reach other neglected sectors instead of undergarments.