C&A Europe is one of the leading fashion retail businesses in Europe with 1,575 stores in 21 European countries and more than 35,000 employees. C&A Europe welcomes more than two million visitors per day with good quality fashions at affordable prices. In addition to the European stores, C&A also has a presence in Brazil, Mexico, and China. In its bid to appeal to a diverse range of consumers, across countries and cultures, C&A designers and merchants had previously used many different fit models to develop products. While consumers always appreciated the value of shopping at C&A, finding the best-fitting size was sometimes a challenge due to inconsistences. For this reason, C&A Europe, already the largest denim retailer by volume in Europe, entrusted Alvanon as a global expert with the largest database of consumer 3D body scans (over 400,000) worldwide to establish the most “democratic” standard possible for its new sustainable adult denim collection in Autumn/Winter 2015 – to make customers satisfied with and feel good in their denim.
Alvanon’s extensive database of consumer body scans, which were analyzed by age and geographic location in order to create the most democratic body profiles possible, was the perfect starting point for Alvanon’s analysts and consultants to begin their research. Based on a comprehensive body shape analysis of C&A’s target European consumer demographic, Alvanon established new technical fit standards across its Ladies Division and its new “The Denim” collection, with its Men’s and Kids Divisions scheduled to be completed within the next year.
Key points of the development and implementation of C&A’s new technical fit standards:
- Analysis of the differences in customer profiles across divisions.
- Development of new tools for fit evaluation and execution, such as fit mannequins and block patterns.
- Conducting training classes in Dusseldorf and Brusels head offices, across all of C&A’s global sourcing offices and its key suppliers to align and engage internal C&A teams and supply chain partners with the new technical standards.
- Auditing the process and outcomes (designs, technical specifications, patterns and product) by Alvanon auditors in order to certify C&A’s new fit consistency.
During the research, Alvanon recognized that there is a need for size consistency across C&A, even if the divisions had different fit attitudes. New technical fit standards were established for all of C&A that would broaden market coverage across Europe’s diverse population, while paying special attention to smaller and larger consumers. Alvanon’s accompanying professional development training program aligned C&A’s internal teams and supply chain while engaging them with the company’s ambitions for its products. Furthermore, Alvanon awarded C&A’s ladies Division and adult denim collections with its highly respected “AlvaInside Certification,” the world’s first and only professional accreditation dedicated to apparel fit consistency. C&A is now using the AlvaInside logo and “Consistently Accurate Fit Certificated by Alvanon” on specified garment labels across its Autumn/Winter 2015 ladieswear and denim ranges. The positive interim sales performance for its current Autumn/Winter 2015 denim fashion collection impressively confirms the determined efforts of C&A in partnership with Alvanon that have been made to enhance quality and customer satisfaction.