In another first for South African retail, Woolworths is inviting South Africans – women and men – to become part of a national sizing survey. Themed ‘find your perfect fit’, the aim of this survey is to ensure that our clothing sizing standards still meet the needs of our customers.
Thateng Shimange, Head of Womenswear at Woolworths, says, “South Africa has one of the most diverse populations in the world. The best way for us to determine the best fit for our clothing is to actually measure real people. No survey like this has ever been done before for the South African population, and for us it’s another way we can ‘listen’ to our customers and adapt to meet their needs.
“We will be using the same state-of-the-art body scanner used by top global brands like Levi, Marks & Spencer and Target.”
Woolworths is partnering with Alvanon, who is an international market leader in body scanning and fit form development.
No personal information - other than gender, age and ethnic group will be collected - so participants are ensured of anonymity. Participants spend about 15 seconds (fully clothed) in the scanning booth, and afterwards are presented with a printout giving them information about their recommended Woolworths clothing sizes.
Thateng continues, “Using the data from the survey, we will be reviewing our fits and sizing across Womenswear and Menswear and will be assisting our suppliers in updating our pattern blocks and fit forms, where required.”
U.S.A.-based Alvanon is looking forward to its first foray into Africa. Says Alvanon’s President, Ed Gribbin, “We have carried out similar surveys in 21 countries to date and are very excited to be partnering Woolworths in this initiative.”
The scanning system will be set up in three regional shopping centers during February & March 2014. Scanning will take place at Gateway in KwaZulu-Natal from February 19th to February 23rd, at Sandton City in Gauteng from February 26th to March 2nd, and at Canal Walk in the Western Cape from March 5th to March 9th.
“We invite all South Africans to visit these shopping centers and take part in this very exciting survey,” says Thateng Shimange.
“The more people that participate, the more data we’ll collect to satisfy our customers’ future needs.