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RFID in Fashion 2009 Report

At RFID Journal's fourth annual conference and exhibition for the fashion and apparel industry, 150 industry professionals learned how to leverage the benefits of RFID technology. View the presentations from the event.
Sep 21, 2009RFID in Fashion 2009, RFID Journal's fourth annual conference and exhibition for the apparel, footwear and accessories industries, drew an attendance of 150 registrants. This year's event was held on Aug. 12-13, at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York City.

At RFID in Fashion, attendees learned how to employ radio frequency identification technologies—including active, Wi-Fi, passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF), passive high-frequency (HF) and more—to accelerate manufacturing operations, improve in-store inventory accuracy and on-shelf availability, deter theft and increase sales.

Presenters explained how they are using RFID to improve inventory accuracy from 65 percent to 98 percent, reduce the time required to take inventory in stores by 75 percent, decrease the amount of time to receive goods into inventory by 85 percent, lower labor costs associated with markdowns by 50 percent and increase sales by as much as 15 percent. What's more, those attending the event viewed the latest RFID systems for the fashion sector, networked with thought leaders and met vendors that could help them deploy a successful solution.

Several speakers and panelists at the conference have granted permission to provide RFID Journal's readers with the PowerPoint presentations from their sessions—please see the final page to access the presentations.

The event opened with RFID Journal University, which offered a basic introduction to the fundamentals of RFID: the differences between the various classes of tags, including active and passive systems; when additional IT systems are needed to build upon RFID in real-world applications; an understanding of the EPCglobal network; the future of ISO standards, ETSI reader regulations and standardization efforts worldwide; and the relationship between various standards in the area of RFID and Electronic Product Code (EPC) technologies. Presenting at RFID Journal University was Pankaj Sood, founder and manager of McMaster University's RFID Applications Lab.

Following opening remarks by Mary Howell, VP of industry relations at the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), and Mark Roberti, RFID Journal's founder and editor, the conference's keynote address was delivered by Zander Livingston, American Apparel's director of RFID.

After evaluating the positive results of an item-level RFID tagging project at its stores, American Apparel has been employing the technology to track merchandise at selected locations, and to keep its sales floors well-stocked (see American Apparel Makes a Bold Fashion Statement With RFID, American Apparel Expands RFID to Additional Stores and American Apparel RFID Project Featured in Video). Livingston explained how the company evaluated the technology and prepared for the program, as well as the results it achieved and what he sees as the future of RFID in retail.
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