Japanese fashion retailer Marui reports it has just ended an experimental trial using tiny integrated circuit (IC) tags at its men's store in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

In the pilot, smart tags were attached to suits that could be automatically read by a system that would then display information about matching accessories on a screen inside the fitting room.

Customers who took a suit to the screen of a tag reader were able to see images of ties and shirts that might compliment the suit. By scanning the tag over the screen customers were also able to get instant details concerning the products they were trying.

Marui, which has 31 large stores across Japan and specialises in fashion for the younger generation, said the new system was a big hit with its tech-savvy young customers.

The scheme was run jointly with the government, which is promoting the use of IC tags across industry. The Japanese Government IC tags taking off on a more widespread basis by 2007 and estimates the market will grow to as much as JPY17trn by 2011.

By Michael Fitzpatrick