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Event Addresses RFID in Apparel and Footwear

RFID Apparel & Footwear Summit will focus on the business benefits of RFID for apparel and footwear manufacturers and retailers.
By Andrew Price
Jul 12, 2006RFID Journal, the world's leading media and events company covering radio frequency identification (RFID), and the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the national trade association for the apparel and footwear sector, have teamed up to launch the first conference and exhibition for the apparel and footwear industry. The RFID Journal-AAFA Apparel & Footwear Summit will be held at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, Aug. 15-16, 2006.

James Stafford, head of RFID at Marks & Spencer (M&S), will deliver the keynote address at the conference. Marks & Spencer is an acknowledged global leader in using RFID technology to improve the stock visibility of apparel. After a successful in-store trial in 2005, it began scanning individual clothing items in 42 stores in the United Kingdom earlier this year. Stafford will explain how his company is benefiting from using RFID, where the savings are, the deployment challenges his team overcame and how M&S plans to move forward.

Avery Dennison is the cornerstone sponsor for the event. The company will cohost, along with RFID Journal, a leadership forum in which thought leaders from leading apparel and footwear vendors will discuss the challenges and benefits of using RFID to improve their business practices. Topics of discussion will include the cost of tagging individual items, privacy and other critical issues.

"The apparel and footwear industry is keenly interested in the benefits that RFID technology can provide," says Mary Howell, VP of industry relations for the AAFA. "This event will highlight case studies and real-world examples of how companies are benefiting from using RFID in the supply chain and the retail environment."

A number of leading apparel and footwear companies have launched pilots and early deployments, and as the cost of tags has come down, interest in RFID has grown. Lower tag costs make it economically viable for companies to tag and track individual apparel and footwear items moving through the supply chain. The conference will highlight some of the early success stories in the apparel sector, as well as some projects that didn't fare quite so well.

"We're very pleased to be partnering with the AAFA to produce an event that will help apparel and footwear companies achieve benefits today with RFID," says Mark Roberti, founder and editor of RFID Journal. "This is truly a must-attend event for the industry, combining authoritative content, the chance to see RFID technology solutions designed for this industry and opportunities to learn from and network with early adopters."

Among the companies that will be in attendance are Allen-Edmonds Shoe Corp., Chantelle Lingerie, Dillard's, Gold Toe Brands, Jockey, Levi Strauss & Co., Liz Claiborne, New Balance Athletic Shoes, Perry Ellis International, Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., Russell Corp., Stride Rite Corp., Timberland, VF Corp., Wolverine World Wide and Woolrich.
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