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RFID in Fashion 2008 Report

At last month's RFID in Fashion event, held in New York City, 160 fashion, apparel and footwear professionals gathered to learn how to use RFID technologies to cut costs and boost sales. View the presentations from the event.
Sep 15, 2008RFID in Fashion 2008, RFID Journal's third annual conference and exhibition for the fashion, apparel and footwear sectors, was held at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, on Aug. 13-14. The event was co-produced by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), an industry trade association for those markets.

At this year's conference, attendees learned how retailers are currently using radio frequency identification to cut labor costs; enhance the customer experience; deter theft, diversion and counterfeiting; increase delivery speed and accuracy; track high-value products; improve on-shelf visibility; and reduce excess inventory and markdowns. A total of 160 attendees gathered at the event, and speaker presentations are now available (see final page for downloading instructions).

The event opened with the RFID Journal University preconference seminar, designed to provide those new to radio frequency identification with the foundational knowledge required to understand how RFID can be applied to solve specific business problems. Attendees learned how to select the correct vendors, and how to choose the right options for particular applications.

Rossano Vitulli, Ing., a software architect in the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Parma, explained the physics behind RFID, legislation and standardization issues, and the practical issues that must be considered when embarking on an RFID deployment. The seminar also included a live demonstration of a UHF RFID interrogator with a variety of products, illustrating how antenna polarization and the presence of metal and liquids can affect the ability to read a tag on a product, as well as how to alleviate problems reading tags on such products.

In addition, Marshall Kay, founder of RFID Sherpas, presented various scenarios for RFID strategy and business-case development during the preconference. RFID Sherpas is currently monitoring a pilot by the Jones Apparel Group, the designer and owner of the Nine West chain of women's footwear and accessory stores, to evaluate the benefits of employing passive EPC Gen 2 RFID technology for product tracking (see Jones Apparel Group Plans RFID Pilot in Nine West Stores).

Uwe Quiede, project manager for the RFID BRIDGE [Building Radio Frequency Identification Solutions for the Global Environment] Project at Kaufhof Warenhaus AG, delivered a keynote speech at the conference. Quiede explained how Galeria Kaufhof, a division of Metro Group, has outfitted an entire floor of its Essen, Germany, department store with 60 RFID interrogators (see Metro Group's Galeria Kaufhof Launches UHF Item-Level Pilot). More than 200 antennas at the store capture data from EPC Gen 2 UHF transponders in hangtags on more than 30,000 individual articles. Quiede described the challenges Kaufhof faced, as well as how the company overcame those obstacles and the results of its deployment.
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