What are the advantages to each application, and are there any example of brands that employ each type of tag?
The vast majority of apparel companies are applying RFID transponders to hangtags or removable labels, or outside their products’ packaging. The reason for this is that it protects consumers’ privacy. A shopper can remove a tag and throw it away, after which the tag won’t be able to track that individual after the item has been purchased. The downside to this approach is that shoplifters can cut a tag off in a store and steal an item. Some retailers use RFID only for deterring theft, while others utilize both RFID tags and electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags.
There are a few examples of companies sewing RFID transponders into their apparel items. One is Germany’s Gerry Weber (see Gerry Weber Sews In RFID’s Benefits). The benefit to this approach is that you can use RFID for both inventory management and theft prevention. The challenge is ensuring that the serial number in the RFID tag is not linked to personally identifiable customer data, as this would violate GS1 best practices, as well as laws in some jurisdictions.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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