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Swedish Fashion Company Launches Global RFID System

The passive UHF solution, installed during a three-month span by Nedap Retail, enables Acne Studios to provide omnichannel sales with high inventory accuracy at all of its 45 stores.
By Claire Swedberg
May 17, 2017

Swedish fashion brand Acne Studios has deployed an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-based solution to enable omnichannel sales at its 45 stores worldwide. The installation, which took place across 12 countries, was taken live in February 2017 following a three-month rollout. With the technology, provided by Nedap Retail, Acne Studios can ensure the accuracy of its inventory at all of its stores, thereby improving the speed and accuracy at which products are sold via the omnichannel. The retailer has integrated the RFID tags into its price labels.

Acne Studios (an acronym for Ambition to Create Novel Expressions) is the luxury apparel division of a design, film, production and advertising company of the same name, founded in 1996. In 2006, the firm became a standalone fashion brand. Originally only located in Sweden, the company has now opened stores throughout Europe, as well as in the United States and Asia.

The retailer's environmental strategy focuses on selling apparel that is high-quality, with a long life. One of its early goals was to increase the amount of environmentally friendly materials in its products, and in 2014 it added a goal that 20 percent of all fabrics used in its "never-out-of-stock" products should be made of organic cotton or similarly environmentally stable material.

To accomplish the "never out of stock" model, the company deployed a comprehensive inventory-management system at all of its stores. However, it required considerable labor hours for staff members at each store to count inventory, and was also prone to errors.

In October 2016, the company approached Nedap seeking a solution. "The priority was stock accuracy for omnichannel," says Danny Haak, Nedap's !D Cloud product manager. At each store, Acne Studios already printed a price tag specific to each product in that market, with the currency for that country. Because price tags were already being printed at the stores, the company opted to integrate the RFID tag directly into the price label so that there would only be one tag for each product.

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