Fit-related issues, which are one of the biggest factors underlying the steep return rates in online, catalogue and at retail stores, could be a thing of the past according to FitMe, a developer of software solutions for the apparel industry.

The company says that Size Genie, its newly launched web-based software application, allows individual consumers to accurately determine their fit and optimal sizes in virtually any brand of clothing.

"Shoppers are often frustrated and confused with varying fit and sizes in the industry," said FitMe CEO Ram Srinivasan. "Size Genie provides personalised information for the consumer. Retailers using Size Genie can expect higher sales, lower returns, and more satisfied consumers. Simply put, a better bottom line beginning this holiday season."

Size Genie, which can be accessed through the websites of participating retailers or directly through FitMe.Com, uses a consumer's specific measurements to determine the right size for an optimal fit in hundreds of apparel brands and illustrate how a garment fits on various parts of an individual's body. Secure technology ensures that individual data cannot be accessed without the consumer's permission.

A recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey found that over 80 per cent of Internet shoppers hesitate to buy apparel online because of lack of information about how the garment fits their body. And Bain & Co estimates that the cost of returns could reach 27 per cent of gross sales for online apparel retailers by 2004.

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