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RFID Skeptics Embrace RFID

After hearing numerous case studies presented by early adopters at the RFID Journal—AAFA Apparel & Footwear Summit, some attendees said they would recommend their companies start pilots.
By Mark Roberti
By using RFID to track goods from Asia as they arrive at the warehouse and are picked and shipped, the company has reduced its labor costs, increased the number of items the warehouse can handle and improved its ability to deliver the right goods to the right customer every time.

Lemmi recently switched from an HF system to an EPC Gen 2 UHF system. Pfeifferling said the company attained a return on investment on the HF system and expects to get a return on the UHF system in eight months as well, based on the labor savings it has achieved.

Bill Holder, CIO of Dillard's, a leading U.S. department store, gave an excellent presentation in which he showed how using RFID could help the company achieve cost savings and increase revenue over time by reducing labor, decreasing shrinkage, improving sales and streamlining inventory processes.

There were also presentations focused on in-store operations. Frank Cornelius, RFID project leader at New Balance, showed how the U.S. footwear company is RFID-tagging one style of men's running shoes in a factory store. The company believes RFID can help it manage store inventory more efficiently, and plans to scale up the pilot. It will then bring in its retail partners to show how RFID can be used to sell more New Balance sneakers.

Neco Can, co-owner of the Industry Standard, a hip urban couture boutique in Columbus, Ohio, explained how he's using RFID to improve the shopping experience. His store uses the MagicMirror developed by Paxar (now part of Avery Dennison) and the Big Space, a systems integration firm focused on enhancing the retail experience, to provide information about clothing items (see MagicMirror Could Assist Retail Customers). Other RFID-based systems enable young, tech-savvy shoppers to e-mail information to friends, pointing them to a Web site where they can view the shoppers trying on clothes and send comments via text message.

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