If you've left the house and don't like how you're dressed...

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I admire entrepreneurs who come up with really new, novel ideas for a product or service. For instance, last year, I interviewed a guy who started an insurance company to protect clients from weather -- and not just hurricanes and tornadoes, but an ordinary rainy day on a golf course or a car wash, since, let's face it, on days like that, those business owners don't stand a chance of making a profit. I always thought that was clever, and from what I know, the company's doing very well.

And then a few years ago, I spoke to a woman about a company she was starting, thinking that it might make a good article, but my story never went anywhere, nor did her business, I believe, but it was unique. She had a business where she would scatter a loved one's ashes anywhere in the world. But since the grieving person had to pay for her travel expenses, I kept thinking, "Why shouldn't the grieving person just go and do it themselves and get a vacation and probably much more healing out of it? And how hard is it to scatter someone's ashes, anyway?" And that's probably why, as far as I know, her company didn't last long. But she had done the task for a friend, and it had gone well, and so she came up with this business concept.

But I salute Indian entrepreneur Jagdeep Kapoor, whose company Grabbit Franchisee Lette has come up with what I believe is a first. Grabbit is a vending machine business, and it's currently trying to interest establishments in purchasing...vending machines that sell shirts.



Yes, just when you thought you've heard it all, I'm happy to say that you haven't.

I don't know if the idea would fly in America or Canada, but maybe it will in India. After all, Grabbit already has vending machines in India that sell jewelry and cosmetics. Why not shirts? It would be perfect for the person who is always giving the shirt off their back.

And from what I've read at Fibre2Fashion, an international business trade e-zine for the textile and garment industry, Grabbit already has 700 malls in India that have grabbed the concept and plan to install these shirt-filled vending machines. You can buy the shirts with a credit card, and they claim that you can easily enough get refunded if, say, you guessed the wrong size. Actually, it may not be that difficult; from what I understand, they expect a lot of people who don't have an actual storefront to buy these machines, and so maybe someone will be standing nearby and offering customer support.

At any rate, it's an interesting idea and kudos to the company's creativity. I also can't help but admire the wordsmith who came up with their catchy slogan: Vending Without Ending.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
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