CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Many teenage girls say their favorite part of high school is not just prom, but picking out their prom dress. But what could be worse than showing up at the dance, and finding other girls with the same gown? That's why several stores are going high-tech when it comes to marketing prom dresses, and tracking who wears what to prom.
Mackenzie Hammond has turned and twirled many times, trying to find that elusive prom dress. She's open to anything, but she knows she wants a long one. She's searched with her mother for months, saying she's gone to 15-20 stores without any luck finding a dress.
This is Mackenzie's senior year and like many girls, she's holding out for a one-of-a-kind gown.
"If I'm going to have my senior prom dress, I want to be the only one in that dress. I don't want there to be 5 other people in my dress," said Mackenzie.
Fortunately for Mackenzie, she discovered Prom Dress Tracking, a marketing tool some stores use to promise a unique dress. Proms are big business; some gowns go for as much as seven-hundred dollars.
Tina Marshall of Bridal and Formal says the ultimate goal of most prom dress shoppers is to be the best looking they've ever looked. "They're going to find a dress they can ROCK that day," she says.
Here's how prom dress tracking works: you find a dress you love and when you go to pay for it, the store can see if anyone else has bought the same dress.
Tina Marshall describes it this way: "We check the system, what school do you go to, what school is it for? And if we have 25 people bought for that school, we'll go through each ticket to make sure that nobody else has bought that dress."
And if a girl likes a dress that someone is already wearing to her prom? Well it's back to the rack for her. Marshall says, "We will not, I don't care how much you beg and plead, will not sell you the same dress in the same color. We will not do it."
Many stores carry different designers but there is the chance that girls might find the same dress somewhere else, and if so, Mackenzie Hammond says those things just happen.
Bridal and Formal says girls start coming in around Thanksgiving to start looking for a prom dress, which gives them a good chance they can pick out their favorite gown. Since they do get many out-of-town prom shoppers, even as far away as Chicago, they even track proms in other states.