Footwear retailer Clarks Shoes is preparing to install 3D foot measurement gauges in a number of its stores in a bid to meet the back to school rush.

The GBP4.6m (US$8.5m) investment with developer QinetiQ will be rolled out into 50 Clarks stores this month and should be installed in all the company's UK and Ireland shops by the end of 2007.

The foot gauge uses six 3D camera systems to measure children's feet quickly and accurately, providing detailed length, girth and shape data and helping to ensure the best fit possible. Both feet can be scanned simultaneously, allowing store staff to decide quickly on best fit. 

The recorded 3D data will also enable trend analysis, assisting future footwear design and improving stock control and the efficiency of in-store service.