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Putting a Stylish Face on RFID Tags
By adopting integrated RFID hangtags, the apparel industry can achieve an attractive branded look and lower tagging costs.
May 10, 2015—
The apparel industry is embracing radio frequency identification with perhaps more ardor than any other sector. Its nearly endless host of stock-keeping units (SKUs), combined with rapid item turnover at the retail level, make apparel inventories notoriously difficult to manage. RFID offers a solution, but one that traditionally involved some undesirable tradeoffs in terms of tagging costs, minimum order requirements and unattractive additional Electronic Product Code (EPC) item tags.
But that is now changing.
Retailers typically begin their RFID initiatives by testing a system at stores where the environment can be tightly controlled. Initial evaluations concentrate on hardware and software selection, as well as their integration into the existing infrastructure.
During initial RFID trials, sales associates or stock-room personnel are usually assigned the task of applying RFID tags to garments. These employee costs can range anywhere from $.06 to $0.12 per item.
Such store tagging is not sustainable over the long term, nor is it a good use of personnel. The long-term cost-effective solution, just like with traditional price ticketing, is to have vendors tag the garments farther up the supply chain, where it can be done much more cost-efficiently.
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