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Checkpoint releases circular tag for health, beauty products; boosts production capabilities ••• Farsens unveils prototype RFID sensor tags ••• RFID, RTLS adoption to rise in warehouses, according to Zebra study ••• Startup reelyActive launches Bluetooth-enabled customer-tracking service ••• STiD unveils two new UHF RFID tags for aerospace, oil and gas industries ••• GS1 UK survey shows growing RFID adoption by apparel sector ••• Radley and Smart Label Solutions announce partnership.
By Beth Bacheldor

GS1 UK Survey Shows Growing RFID Adoption by Apparel Sector

More than one quarter of the top apparel retailers in the United Kingdom are already using RFID within their stores, according to a survey conducted by GS1 UK. Retailers in this group include Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Tesco F&F, ASDA George and more.

The study, carried out late last year, also found that another 20 percent are currently trialing RFID tags, while 15 percent are investigating their use and are due to pilot the technology within the next few months. According to GS1 UK, the survey respondents cited inventory accuracy as their main driver for adopting RFID. Other reasons include stock visibility and availability, loss prevention, supply chain automation and innovation. The use of RFID sees retailers typically cutting their out-of-stocks by up to 50 percent, and seeing an 80 to 90 percent time-savings using RFID for stock management.

The survey also showed that smaller brands, such as high-end men's tailor Gieves & Hawkes, are also realizing RFID's benefits, especially supply chain visibility and inventory accuracy (see Gieves & Hawkes Installs RFID to Prevent Shrinkage, Track Inventory). Lee Adams, head of NPD and marketing at Catalyst, a global supplier of retail security products, said in the statement that his company has had discussions with many retailers in recent years regarding the use of RFID to help tackle various challenges. "We have noticed that those conversations are more frequently moving to firm commitments on proofs of concept, trials and even full roll outs," he said in the statement. "We are certainly approaching a tipping point in terms of retail market adoption. Gieves & Hawkes is the latest example of this and we are currently deploying the technology with others."

Once an RFID tag is applied at the source, GS1 UK noted, retailers can identify every piece of merchandise at every retail stock location, across the entire supply chain. Survey respondents reported that, on average, this increases inventory accuracy from 63 percent to 95 percent, making it easier to deliver the products that consumers want, when and where they want them, and thus increasing brand affinity and sales.

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