Tall Aussies caught short by undersized items


CHOICE identifies frustrations of growing consumers

CHOICE says Australian businesses could be overlooking a growing number of taller consumers by failing to provide suitably sized products and services.

The people’s watchdog asked taller men and women about their experiences when shopping and accessing services. Their responses reveal tales of frustration with airlines, clothing, cars, public transport, hospitals, home fittings and even handles on prams.

Statistics from the most recent ABS National Health Survey detailing height (2004-2005), show that each generation of Australians is taller than the last.*

The survey also shows that one in four men aged between 18-24 years is over 185cm (6’1”) and one in every 10 women aged between 18-24 years is over 175cm (5’9”).

“We’ve heard from tall people who have resigned themselves to paying more for exit row seats, lying with their feet hanging over the end of hospital beds, spending more on clothes and shoes and having to constantly duck under showerheads,” says CHOICE spokesperson, Ingrid Just.

“Businesses understandably need to operate on economies of scale but it shouldn’t be a tall order - we’re not talking about a tiny market,” says CHOICE spokesperson Ingrid Just.

“The good news is that there are some Australian retailers who are catering for the needs of taller customers and we hope more join them,” says Ms. Just.

Five common frustrations for tall Australians identified by CHOICE are:

• Clothing and footwear sizes.
• Lack of leg room in aircraft, cars, public transport, cinemas and theatres.
• Home fittings that are too low - kitchen and bathroom benches/basins, ceiling fans and shower heads.
• Beds and mattresses that are too short (in the US mattresses are made up to 216cm. In Australia the maximum standard length available is 203cm).
• Changing-room doors that leave tall customers exposed.

Read CHOICE’s report on the experiences of tall consumers. 

* The survey showed that the mean height of 18-24 year old men was 180cm (5’11”), making them almost 5cm taller than men aged between 65-74 years. For women, the mean height of 18-24 year olds was just over 165cm, almost 4cm taller than women aged between 65-74 years.

Media contact:
• Ingrid Just, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669


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