Cramped cubicles, inadequate lighting and long queues among the top complaints
An increasing number of women are buying clothes in multiple sizes to avoid "cramped" changing rooms, according to new research.
64pc of respondents said that when shopping on the high street, they would rather buy extra sizes and return items that don't fit at a later date; a rise of 47pc on last year.
39pc of women surveyed by fashion savings site StyleCard thought that changing rooms were too hot, while a third disliked ill-fitting curtains that left them feeling "exposed". 29pc of shoppers also said that they dislike the way they look in cubicle mirrors.
Paraag Amin, chief executive of StyleCard, said that changing rooms are "more bother than they are worth" due to the frustration that they cause for many women
He said: “This overall dislike of changing rooms will lead to increased online purchasing and a greater reluctance to try new or different brands, thus once an individual knows their size at a particular brand, they are more likely continue to shop there."
Cramped conditions, inadequate lighting and the length of time spent queuing to try on items featured highly on the list. More than a third of respondents were so frustrated by queues that they dumped garments in the middle of the shop after losing patience while waiting for a cubicle to become free.
69pc of women between 25 and 40 complained that the changing room experience was stressful, while those under 25 were most likely to find it pleasant. Location also plays a role, with women in the south 25pc more likely to "buy before they try".
But for frustrated consumers, there is another solution; virtual fitting rooms. The technology allows buyers to input their measurements and view how a garment will look on their body shape.
Heikki Haldre, chief executive of software provider Fits.me, said that the problem of customers ordering multiple sizes is not exclusive to high street stores.
He said: “Online, people have taken to buying multiple sizes of the same item of clothing in order to guarantee themselves a size that fits: 31pc of shoppers now admit to having done this at least once.
"Even though two sizes is the usual maximum (more than 80pc of people bought two sizes, last time they bought more than one size), this is still deeply troublesome for retailers and it will probably get worse as more people shop online and a growing proportion cotton on to the free deliveries/free returns policies.
“But online there is hope, in the form of virtual fitting rooms. These are available to retailers in a variety of forms and, ideally, help shoppers choose not only a size that fits, but that fits them the way they like perhaps, loose, regular or tight, for example."
eBay announced on Thursday that it has acquired Phisix Fashion Labs, a computer graphics company that creates 3D clothing models for use by online retailers.
Steve Yankovich, vice-president of innovation and new ventures at eBay, said: “Consumers can experience the merchandise in a more efficient and impactful way, which we believe will drive sales for retailers and create a delightful experience for shoppers.”