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Apparel & Footwear Summit Attracts Wide Audience
Retailers and manufacturers from around the world shared experiences and discussed challenges at RFID Journal's Apparel & Footwear Summit.
Mischa Reis, director of RFID marketing for Avery Dennison Retail Information Services, provided overviews of pilot programs in which RFID technology was used to improve inventory accuracy and the receiving process at distribution centers, and a project aimed at improving costumer service.
In the latter, sales associates at a Japanese shoe retailer carried handheld RFID interrogators and used them to check back-room inventory for size and style availability of RFID-tagged display shoes. The project led to a 10 percent sales increase during a holiday season, a boost attributed to being able to more quickly locate the right size and style of shoes for customers.
Gotz Pfeifferling, the CIO of Lemmi Fashion, a children's clothing brand based in Germany, described how his company has integrated RFID into its production, supply chain and retail operations and saw cost savings and inventory accurate throughout its business.
Speakers also talked about the potential for integrating RFID into electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems that most retailers already use to reduce shoplifting--especially of high-value items. EAS tags use low radio frequencies and do not contain microchips that uniquely identify items.
But Kevin Donahue, director of business development for RFID solutions at Checkpoint, a major EAS vendor, noted that his company is interested in developing reusable EAS tags (the hard plastic security tags removed at the point of sale) that would contain RFID tags that could be used for item tracking. Donahue says the company is currently talking to tag makers and is developing prototypes of such tags. Retailers could use EAS-RFID tags to conduct real-time highly accurate inventory of high-value goods within their stores.
Bosco Law, director of corporate development for Lawsgroup, a contract clothing manufacture in Hong Kong, described how his company replaced a manual system using paper tickets to track work-in-progress garment production with one that uses HF RFID smart cards. The company was able to recoup its RFID investment, through better product visibility and improved production agility, within one year of deployment.
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