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Organic Clothing Retailer Makes Shopping Personal
Clothing for a Better Earth is using an RFID-enabled iPod and EPC Gen 2 tags to link customers with products they might like, as well as track shoppers and goods throughout its store.
Jan 25, 2010—Clothing for a Better Earth, a New York retailer specializing in eco-friendly garments, has opened its doors as a showcase for RFID technology, providing customers with the kind of shopping experience—such as tracking purchasing preferences and making recommendations—currently available only on the Internet. The store has a temporary home in Carousel Center, a mall being developed by Destiny USA, in Syracuse, N.Y.
The system is provided by Destiny USA, and the company hopes to offer it to many other new stores opening within the eight-story shopping complex as well. It incorporates two types of RFID technology: active ultra-wideband (UWB) tags and readers provided by Time Domain Corp., known as the Precision Location Ultra Wideband System (PLUS), and an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID system with Avery Dennison passive tags and Impinj interrogators. The Destiny USA Technology Platform ties these two systems together using a software platform provided by New York software firm Terakeet.
With its RFID deployment, Clothing for a Better Earth is also serving as a showcase for what the technology can do, and has invited other retailers to come take a look and consider how they could use RFID within their own space. The goal, says Pat Danial, Terakeet's chief technology officer and co-founder, is to provide the system at numerous stores within the Carousel Center, part of a 1.3 million-square-foot mall complex under construction.
Clothing for a Better Earth, a new company that offers apparel made from natural, organic fibers, opened its first branch at a temporary 1,100-square-foot location in an open-air section of the mall, while a new area is being constructed, explains Frank Fiumano, the retailer's general manager. The store opened last year on so-called Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving. With RFID, shoppers can track their own purchases, as well as learn about other products they might consider buying, and the store can gain data regarding shopper behavior, while also tracking its own inventory.
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