National childrenswear sizing survey

2nd September, 2009

Do you have children? Can you help take part in a survey at Aston University linked to childrenswear sizing?

As part of their continuing efforts to improve the sizing and fit of our clothing, four major retailers (Shop Direct, Next, Monsoon and George at ASDA) have sponsored a national childrenswear sizing survey which is being held at Aston University, this week.

The Shape GB project is being managed by leading specialists in the area of 3D scanning for sizing surveys, Select Research, who are looking to measure around 6,000 children from across the UK, aged between 4 and 17 years.

The body measurements produced by the 3D scanner, which is based at Aston, will help provide retailers with a more sophisticated means of measuring and analysing children’s measurements and will identify the differences in height and body shape between children of different ages. The aim is to create better fitting clothes for customers and with the whole scanning process comfortable, easy and taking less than 10 minutes. Once data is collected, it is totally anonymous.

Measurement of children is being held at the University's campus from now until Friday, September 4.  As a thank you for your time, you will also receive vouchers to spend for one of the participating retailers.

Please visit the official Shape GB project website for more information or to book an appointment time to get your child scanned. The Select team hope you can help retailers with this important sizing research on children’s shape.


For further information please contact Aston University Press Officer, Alex Earnshaw, on 0121 204 4549

Notes to Editors;

About the 3D Body Scanner

  The 3D Scanner involves no contact, uses safe white light technology and is completely safe involving no radiation or lasers.

The 3D Scanner is housed in a 5ft square upright booth where a person can stand to be measured. There are a series of 16 sensors and 32 cameras, programmed by a bank of standard PC to create a ‘virtual’ body image.  Over 200 separate linear data measurements can be extracted.

A person is measured in underclothes similar to their skin colour - The system is perfectly safe as no radiation is involved, the scan takes 6 seconds and the whole process takes less than 2 minutes from start to finish. The scan is saved on a secure server anonymously to be accessed by retailer and data analysts.

About Select Research:

Select Research is a Birmingham based research company who have been pioneering the use of 3D Body Scanning technology since 1997 to provide clients with more accurate information about the size and shape of the human body.  Select have managed large sizing surveys for many clients including M&S and Next, scanning more than 25,000 men, women and children over the past 10 years. This includes a survey in 1999 for M&S involving the measurement of more than 3,500 children.

Select were commissioned by 17 retailers to manage recruitment and sampling of 11,000 adults for Size UK - the first UK National Sizing Survey in 50 years in 2001, with data being used by all the major retailers including M&S, Tesco, House of Fraser, Arcadia, Debenhams, Bhs and John Lewis. This national survey led on to other national surveys in the US, Mexico and Thailand.

The first of Select's four surveys for M&S in 1998 was used as the basis for their first ever dedicated marketing campaign, centred on the results from the survey by Select that Size 16 had become the average size for an adult female.

Since 2000, Select have been using 3D scanners to develop the Body Volume Index (BVI); a potential modern day replacement to the Body Mass Index (BMI) in measurement of obesity levels. BVI is currently being tested through a clinical research programme led by Heartlands NHS Hospital in the UK and The Mayo Clinic in the USA. Other Universities and research facilities across Europe are also involved in the two year study. See Select’s work on BVI co-incides with a growing awareness in recent times that body shape and weight distribution have more significance for retail and healthcare purposes than size alone.

The company also specialises in product research and qualitative research, focus group moderation and analysis for the retail and healthcare markets in particular.