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GIKS Mode to Open Seventh RFID-enabled Store

The Belgian retailer has already been using RFID to track nearly all of its merchandise at six stores and a DC.
By Claire Swedberg

RFKeeper's T1009 Dual AM-RFID Round Tag is a reusable hard tag that can be attached to garments for both tracking via RFID and theft prevention via acousto-magnetic (AM) EAS technology, according to Zack Shrem, RFKeeper's sales and business development VP.

When goods are received at GIKS' DC in the city of Waregem, staff members there use a Merlin handheld to scan the bar code on each garment's label. They pair that data with an EPC UHF RFID number encoded to the T1009's built-in passive UHF RFID transponder, and attach the hard tag to the garment. The Merlin reader forwards the collected read data to the RFKeeper software and, ultimately, to the ERP system, thereby creating a record of what has been received. The item is then stored in the DC until it is shipped in response to a store's order.

RFKeeper's T1009 Dual AM-RFID Round Tag, which is 54 millimeters in diameter, combines a passive UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID transponder with 58 kHz acousto-magnetic EAS technology.
One unexpected benefit of this process, Allemeersch reports, has been that workers can now test each bar-code label before a garment reaches a store. In the past, he explains, an erroneous or faulty bar-code label, such as one that couldn't be scanned, wasn't usually discovered until it reached the point of sale.

In late October, GIKS also intends to install a fixed RFID reader gate at the distribution center to make tag reading automatic.

When an item is received at one of the six stores, workers use Merlin handhelds to interrogate the tags of all items in the boxes or on racks that they receive. That information is then updated in the ERP system, via RFKeeper software, indicating that those goods are now in the store.

The garments are then placed on the sales floor, and employees can conduct periodic inventory checks using the same handheld reader.

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