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Craft of Scandinavia Tests RFID

The Swedish sports apparel company is testing a self-inventorying product display developed by clothing label producer Nilorn Group.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 10, 2007Nilorn Group, a producer of clothing labels, has developed an RFID-enabled self-inventorying product display for sports apparel company Craft of Scandinavia. Craft expects to use the system to track inventory of its merchandise within retail stores. Since September, says Per Wagnås, Nilorn's VP of retail information systems, the garment maker has been testing the system in Nilorn's Gothenburg, Sweden, showroom using a mobile test unit.

The rack contains a built-in RFID interrogator that reads the unique ID numbers of the tags on the items displayed.
The testing involves experimenting with various RFID interrogators, antennas, software and tags. If the tests go well, Wagnås says, Craft intends to install the system in stores throughout Sweden that carry its products. A meeting to discuss the ongoing test's success, as well as plans to deploy the system, will be held in mid-December. "We plan to have test racks in the stores by spring 2008," Wagnås says.

The shop rack mounts to a shelving unit on which garments hang in their packaging, with an RFID reader and two RFID antennas. Each garment package has an EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag affixed to it, with a unique ID number.

Craft of Scandinavia sells a variety of athletic garments in retail stores throughout Sweden. The company employs two salespeople to visit each of the stores (which are owned by third parties) and take inventory of which items are still on the shelf and which need to be re-ordered. The salespeople record the sizes, colors and models of any garments running low, though the items are often already out of stock when the employees arrive at the store. With RFID, Craft is seeking a solution that would provide the company access to its product inventory in each location without physically visiting the stores.

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