Out of stock. Back ordered. Those phrases might be a thing of the past if Amazon has its way. The e-tailer giant has just won a patent for on-demand apparel manufacturing, a process by which clothing will only be produced once an actual order has been placed.
Whether or not Amazon will work to develop the idea behind the patent is anyone’s guess, and Amazon isn’t commenting. There are, however, implications for both the supplier and end user of apparel if the technology moves forward. Retailers would not be required to carry inventory, saving space and capital. Quick manufacturers could create custom batches closer to customer locations. Laser measurement would assure a perfect fit. The only question would be how to handle returns.
There are also plans to expand the patent beyond clothing to include fabrics, accessories like scarves and ties, and footwear.
Will the concept trickle into the uniform industry? Probably not. But if you’re looking for customization in the customer market, this might just be the next big thing.