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AAFA Offers RFID Savings Program

The American Apparel and Footwear Association is offering its eligible members deep discounts on RFID smart labels from Avery Dennison RIS.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jan 10, 2006The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is helping make RFID technology more affordable for some members to implement, thanks to a discount program on RFID smart labels from Avery Dennison Retail Information Services (RIS). Under the AAFA RFID Savings Program, the approximately 200 AAFA members that manufacturer and market apparel and footwear can receive discounted RFID smart labels from Avery Dennison RIS.

"This program was member-driven," says Mary Howell, AAFA's vice president of industry relations. A number of members had asked AAFA to create a program enabling them to access discounts on RFID goods and services, and in response, AAFA set up a task group of its staff and representatives from its member companies, including Perry Ellis International, Russell Corp., Sara Lee Corp.—which offers a number of branded apparel lines, including Champion athletic clothing—and the Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co.. Before the discount agreement with Avery Dennison RIS was created, the task group developed a request for proposal, which AAFA then sent to a number of RFID vendors. The Avery Dennison RIS proposal resells RFID smart labels manufactured by its sister company, Avery Dennison RFID.

Mischa Reis, Avery Dennison RIS
Mischa Reis, director of RFID marketing for Avery Dennison RIS, says many AAFA members were already Avery Dennison RIS customers, so the decision to participate in the RFID Savings Program was a natural one. "The apparel and footwear industries are a key focus of the Avery Dennison RIS division," Reis explains. "We supply tens of billions of price tickets, hangtags and other goods to the industry. That's our core business."

The discount, which Howell will describe only as "significant," is available for orders of 5,000 or more Avery Dennison RIS smart labels, offered in three sizes—4 by 6 inches, 4 by 8 inches and 2 by 4 inches—and with four different UHF RFID inlay options. The Avery Dennison RFID AD-220 is compliant with the EPC Gen 2 standard, and Reis believes this will be in the highest demand as end users transition into Gen 2 technology. Other inlay options are Avery Dennison RFID's EPC Gen 1 Class 1 AD-210 and AD-410 inlays, as well as the AD-620 Class 0+ inlay. Each inlay comes in any label sizes, except for the AD-620, which is offered only in the 4- by 6-inch and 4- by 8-inch varieties.

Reis would not any provide any pricing information about his company’s labels, discounted or not, explaining that such information is available only to customers who query Avery Dennison RIS directly with quantities needed. In September, inlay manufacturer Avery Dennison RFID announced that its AD-220, AD-210 and AD-410 inlays were available for 7.9 cents apiece in quantities of 1 million. However, before a customer could use them, they would first need to be converted into labels, either non-printable or printable, at an additional cost.

To order the smart labels, eligible AAFA members can download an application form, available on both the AAFA and Avery Dennison RIS Web sites. Once a member's application is accepted, AAFA will forward its label order to Avery Dennison RIS.

"We try to service our members to the best of our ability, and when they ask us to help them do something that will directly benefit their businesses, we do it," says Howell, adding that the program does not presently include discounts on any of other RFID goods or services, though it might in the future.
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