With an aim to identify dominant body shapes of sizes of Australian consumers so it can ensure it is designing the right fitting clothes for its customers, Target has launched a national sizing study using 3D technology.

Target has partnered with fit expert Alvanon and is using the 3D AlvaScan machine to measure the bodies of up to 20,000 male and female customers for five weeks from 26 April to 29 May.

Dene Rogers, Target Australia’s managing director, said Target is conducting its own national adult sizing study designed to improve the fit and consistency of Target’s sizing range.

“Sizing inconsistencies are a major cause of customer frustration across the retail industry and the leading contributor of return rates for clothing both instore and online,” he said.

“In 2008 the federal government conducted a review of the Australian textiles, clothing and footwear industry and a key recommendation was to allocate $5 million from the 2009 budget to develop a national sizing standard.”

Alvanon scanners are based on radio wave technology and are safety certified by the US Federal Communications Commission. Consumers will be invited to stand, fully clothed, in an AlvaScan booth and in less than 60 seconds the scanner will collect 200,000 data points on the body that then generate an accurate three dimensional shape of the body. From this 3D body shape Alvanon will extract 55 technical measurements which will be used in Target’s garment design and making process.

“By taking sixty seconds to come and be scanned consumers will not only find out their exact measurements, they’ll be helping Target find out what size Australians really are today, so that we can make clothes that really fit,” Rogers said.

The data generated by the scanners will be analysed and used by Target to design and produce garments that best fit its consumer population. Target will also use the information to create consistent sizing information for its clothing labels.

Janice Wang, chief executive officer of the Alvanon Group said: “Target has recognised that fashion fit is a key strategic element of business success and consumer satisfaction and we are delighted to be working with them on this far reaching project.”