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Lucky Brand Uses RFID-Enabled Touchscreens to Provide Info, Assistance to Shoppers

The clothing retailer is RFID-tagging all inventory at two of its stores, so that customers can access information about a garment by holding it near the screen, as well as request assistance.
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 04, 2015

This summer, jeans and general clothing retailer Lucky Brand opened two new stores in the United States, each equipped with an RFID system that allows a customer to view how a garment looks on a model, learn more about that item and determine which sizes are available in the store or via the Internet. Catalyst, a U.K. electronic article surveillance (EAS) and retail technology firm, provided the solution, which consists of Keonn Technologies' RFID-enabled touchscreens and Keonn's software on a cloud-based server.

Lucky Brand already had a relationship with Catalyst's parent company, global supply chain manager Li & Fung Co.. More than a year ago, says Roxanne Christenson, Catalyst's technology solutions manager for North America the retailer, Lucky Brand began working with Catalyst to create an RFID solution for two new stores it was opening: one in El Segundo, Calif., and the other in Summerlin, Nev.

To get more information about a product, a Lucky Brand shopper uses the RFID-enabled touchscreen installed on the sales floor.
The retailer sought a solution that would help bridge the physical store and online products, since the stores don't have all of Lucky Brand's product line in stock; considerably more is available via online ordering. However, it also wanted to ensure that it did not lose the personal touch afforded by a sales associate speaking with a customer and helping that person individually when needed. "Lucky Brand is really focused on the personal, human element to the [shopping] process," Christenson says.

The two new stores are about twice the size of most Lucky Brand locations, each at about 5,000 square feet, according to Jason Richard, Lucky Brand's CIO. Because of that extra size, he explains, there was room for a large screen on the sales floor. The technology offers a new way to reach out to customers, Richard says, adding, "It will keep people interested and in the store longer… We can cross-sell by offering other items. The whole idea is to make customers more inclined to ask for another product."

Goods arrive at the stores from a variety of vendors. When each item is received, staff members use a Zebra Technologies ZT410 printer-encoder to print an RFID tag, which is then attached to the product's existing hangtag. (The retailer is using RFID tags from a variety of suppliers, including Smartrac.) A worker uses a Catalyst handheld device with a built-in RFID AdvanScan reader from Keonn to encode the tag with a unique ID number and link that ID to that particular product's stock-keeping unit (SKU). The items are then displayed on sales floor fixtures.

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