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PUMA Creates Digital Product IDs for Greater Engagement

The company's North American flagship store opened in New York with RFID tags on each product, as well as magic mirrors, automated inventory management, electronic article surveillance and a consumer-facing QR code system with unique content for each product.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 11, 2019

Global sports brand PUMA has opened its New York City flagship store with customer-engagement features that enable customers to access and share content about products while viewing them or trying them on. The store employs RFID tags applied to every product and a QR code printed on each label to link consumers to a particular product's digital identity.

The RFID functionality enables inventory management, electronic article surveillance (EAS) and a magic mirror solution. The Internet of Things (IoT)-based system leverages Avery Dennison's Janela tags, as well as its Smart Product Platform powered by IoT software company EVRYTHNG's Active Digital Identity (ADI) solution for the QR-code-driven consumer-engagement technology. The solution connects each product item with a unique digital identity in the cloud.

The RFID number of each product's tag and the QR code-based serial number are linked with a digital identity, enabling shoppers to engage with a particular item using a cell phone.
The PUMA store, which opened last month, is the company's first North American flagship site, and it aims to bridge the physical store with the digital world. In so doing, the company hopes to provide shoppers with more choices in terms of product selection, by preventing out-of-stocks and enabling them to view information about individual products, as well as share their own experiences by taking selfies onsite and uploading them to PUMA's Instagram page.

With an assortment of technologies installed at the new store, says Russell Kahn, PUMA's senior VP for retail, "We're trying to increase the dwell time of the consumer, to give them a reason to stay in the store longer and engage with the brand, and to create an emotional connection so that they build a lifelong relationship with the brand." The RFID tags enable the use of magic mirrors, in addition to better inventory management and security. The link of a QR code, on the other hand, provides a more robust consumer experience, he explains.

The 18,000-square-foot store includes two floors at 609 Fifth Avenue. The firm not only sells products but offers a shopping experience as well. For instance, consumers can interact with a large-screen NBA2K gaming experience and professional-grade F1 racing simulators for virtual racing.

The company utilizes UHF RFID tags on all of its products, as well as handheld readers from Zebra Technologies and fixed RFID readers from Sensormatic, for inventory tracking, security and magic mirrors. Most recently, during the final four weeks of preparation, the store engaged EVRYTHNG to link the unique RFID number on each product's tag and the QR code-based serial number with a digital identity so that consumers can use their smartphones to engage with the product, according to Judy Moon, EVRYTHNG's sales VP.

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