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American Apparel Adding 50 More Stores in Aggressive RFID Rollout

The retailer states that RFID has helped it reduce shrinkage, improve stock levels and decrease employee turnover, and that RFID-enabled stores are outperforming those not using the technology.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
RFID "changes the culture, internally," Shulman notes, because employees understand that items are precisely tracked, which diminishes their chances of getting away with theft.

Per the 50-store agreement, Xterprise will supply each retail location with its ARS software, as well as fixed-position and handheld RFID readers from Motorola Solutions and RFID tags made by Avery Dennison and LS Industrial Systems. American Apparel will use an internal team to install and test the system at each store, says Shulman.

In addition to the Xterprise software, which is currently utilized at 27 American Apparel locations, the retailer employs RFID software supplied by Vue Technology (now owned by Tyco Retail Solutions) at 23 stores (see American Apparel Makes a Bold Fashion Statement With RFID).

Shulman says there's no single factor determining which software the company deploys at any given store—it's often a matter of which vendor can provide its product in the timeframe and at the price point that the retailer requests. She does note, however, that over the last two years, Xterprise's ARS software has proven to be easy to deploy, maintain and integrate with its existing systems.

"We are thrilled with the statement of confidence from American Apparel with this 50-store award," says Dean Frew, Xterprise's CEO. "After we finish deploying by year end, American Apparel will represent the second largest item-level retail deployment in North America, behind Wal-Mart."

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