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RFID Consortium, Convergence Systems Ltd. enter patent portfolio license ••• Thinfilm, Beneli AB partner to offer NFC label conversion services in Europe ••• River Island awards Byways Group exclusive RFID label supply contract ••• CISC Semiconductor releases compact test equipment for RFID ••• NXT-ID chooses Nordic Semiconductor's wireless BLE and NFC module for smart cards, wearables ••• Silicon Labs acquires Wi-Fi company Zentri ••• Terso Solutions to lead panel on health care, inventory automation using RAIN RFID technology.
By Rich Handley

River Island Awards Byways Group Exclusive RFID Label Supply Contract

Byways Group has announced the awarding of an exclusive contract by River Island to supply RFID-enabled apparel and accessories labels to River Island's supply manufacturing partners and U.K. distribution center.

Byways is a long-standing supplier of labelling solutions to River Island. The firm has worked closely on the development of the RFID project for more than three years, during which time adhesive label designs and specifications were agreed to for the various products that will carry RFID-enabled labels. River Island has also selected Nedap as its RFID hardware and software partner.

During the development project, River Island conducted a multi-phase pilot at seven stores. According to the company, the pilot demonstrated that using RFID technology led to significant increases in sales across all pilot stores, due to improved product availability.

"In a world of omnichannel, product availability is king—accurate stock data is vital for us to successfully offer omnichannel services to our customers," said Jon Wright, River Island's head of global loss prevention and safety, in a prepared statement. "We are delighted at the success of the RFID pilot project, which saw stock accuracy rise to 97%; this has given us greater control of our inventory through item-level visibility and we are now rolling out hardware and software to our 280 U.K. stores. Byways has been a key partner throughout the project, supporting us at every stage, and I'm pleased that the relationship will be ongoing."

Byways is supplying River Island and its supply chain with self-adhesive inlays printed with variable data, each encoded with a unique Electronic Product Code (EPC). "Across the business, we have committed significant resources to assist River Island during the RFID development project and we're delighted that it has proven successful," said Mark Cohen, Byways Group's chairman, in the prepared statement. "We're looking forward to continuing the journey with River Island as their RFID strategy develops further."

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