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RFID Has Shoppers Running to New Balance's Store in Boston

With EPC tags attached to various models of shoes and in promotional cards, customers can learn more about a product and redeem prizes, while also recording data about shopping behavior on the premises.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 23, 2012The New Balance Experience Store in Boston opened its doors earlier this month, boasting an automated system to attract customers to their products by means of an RFID-enabled video display and hotspot, and RFID-enabled prize cards distributed on the streets.

The system features RFID software by InMotion Retail Marketing, the RFID division of Pittsfield ID Technologies, and multimedia content provided by advertising agency Almighty. The solution not only uses the wireless technology to trigger content for shoppers, it also collects data about the popularity of the displayed shoes based on how many times each one is moved.

New Balance's David Chaput

The Boston store is located on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2012 Boston Marathon, which was held on Monday, Apr. 16, and therefore experienced heavy traffic from shoppers during its grand opening. As part of the promotion to attract customers, says David Chaput, New Balance's business solutions manager, the company handed out approximately 6,000 prize cards the day of the race. "We wanted to measure street distribution of marketing material during our grand opening" he says. "We had a significantly positive response."

Pittsfield ID had already been providing brand labels for New Balance products in its stores nationwide, explains Karen Bleckmann, Pittsfield's managing director. With the use of RFID, labels could be used to not only provide digital content for shoppers while in the store, but to collect data about how many time products were handled by potential buyers.

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