Designer RFID

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Aug 09, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

Enhancing the Shopping Experience While Boosting the Bottom Line

Remember when your casual wardrobe was dominated by Levis or Wrangler jeans and Izod shirts? And in the 80s we branched out to don Jordache, Polo and Z. Cavaricci. Some of you probably had parachute pants and a velour jumpsuit in your closet. Admit it. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.  Despite the few fashion choices and faux pas we may have made years ago, we all still have one thing in common – we want an easy way to get our favorite styles and brands.

Well there is a whole new world of shopping out there today, which includes more malls, specialty boutiques and the vast online retail experience. And with this diversity in stores and more brands and styles to choose from, the need for a better way to make sure products are on the shelf when shoppers are in the store is driving retailers and their suppliers to innovate. And that is a good thing – especially for those of us who want the latest designer denim!

But it’s not just about track and trace and supply chain efficiency anymore. That is so 2005. It’s about creating a better shopping experience for the customer and higher sales figures for the seller. In fact, according to Reik Read’s RFID Monthly - Apparel Supplement, “Improved receipt, faster cycle counts and greater inventory visibility have freed up over 175 labor hours per month at each of the 10 RFID-enabled American Apparel stores. The analysis suggests that American Apparel could save $27,000 annually per store through reduced labor. However, we expect at least a portion of labor savings can, and should, be redeployed to help drive revenue through increased customer interaction.”

Enter ThingMagic partner TAGSYS.  TAGSYS has deployed its RFID solutions within a number of retailers’ production supply chains, bringing significant operational benefits both in logistics and retail, with an average ROI of less than 18 months.  Notable retail customers include:

Rica LewisRica Lewis, the leading supplier of jean apparel to major European retail stores. It sells more than 5 million pairs of jeans each year. Rica Lewis is using the TAGSYS “RFID for Fashion” solution to deliver a better customer experience and improved store efficiencies. Its RFID implementation delivers complete real-time visibility of its merchandise from distribution to the Point of Sale. Each sales manager from Rica Lewis is equipped with portable RFID readers enabling them to perform rapid inventory of items directly on the sales floor, greatly improving the efficiency of retail distribution. Initial results have demonstrated that the previous manual inventory has been reduced by more than 80%.

Serge Blanco, a French luxury sportswear designer and retailer, tracks more than 1.5 million items per year at its distribution centers. The company uses TAGSYS “RFID for Retail” which incorporates UHF garment hang tags, HHU-400 handheld readers, the SRU-400 point of sale reader, UHF Security Gate for theft prevention and TAGSYS’ e-Connectware software, which manages RFID data and processes.

At Serge Blanco, the merchandise is received into the back room and then moved to the retail floor. The RFID tags are read as they pass through UHF RFID reader portals positioned at a variety of checkpoints. Information is recorded and the inventory is automatically updated in the store’s management database. Fitting rooms are also equipped with RFID readers so that Serge Blanco can assess conversion rates of products based on what customers try on versus what they actually purchase. Inventory on the shelves also is performed regularly so that the right items are available to customers and not hidden away in the back room.

These are just a few examples of the natural applicability of RFID technology in the Fashion & Apparel supply chain.  Tremendous opportunities for improved customer satisfaction exist when the RFID infrastructure is integrated into the IT system, allowing brand manufacturers and retailers to have access to actionable information in real-time.

Innovations like these make sure that I can get my straight fit sable ples marques aux pouches Rica Lewis jeans when I want them.  And what CEO or VP of Sales wouldn’t want the level of knowledge that RFID provides, to help drive their business forward?

Tags: RFID, Retail, Item Level RFID

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