Researchers to Reveal RFID Benchmarks for Apparel Retail at RFID In Fashion 2009

By Admin

The University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center will reveal industry benchmarks regarding the benefits that can be achieved using RFID in apparel stores, at RFID Journal's fourth annual event, to be held in New York City on Aug. 12-13.

RFID Journal and the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) today announced that Bill Hardgrave, director of the University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center, will present new industry benchmarks related to the benefits that apparel retailers can achieve from using RFID. The presentation will take place at the fourth annual RFID in Fashion conference and exhibition, being held on Aug. 12-13 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

"We have now studied the impact of RFID at enough stores, and been given sufficient supplemental data by retailers who ran their own pilots, to be able to provide some industry benchmarks," Hardgrave says. "This is important because it enables apparel retailers considering whether to deploy RFID to assess the potential return on investment without spending months or years testing the technology. That work has been done by many, and we have the relevant data."

In April of this year, the RFID Research Center released a research paper indicating that not only does RFID improve inventory accuracy, it can also eliminate the need for annual, manual inventory counts. The paper described the results of the third phase of a pilot studying item-level RFID technology in the retail environment, conducted at three Dillard's stores (see Dillard's, U. of Ark. Study Quantifies RFID's Superiority to Manual Inventory Counts).

AMR Research recently surveyed apparel retailers, asking them to rank the importance of key operational issues they face, and to also rate their ability to respond to such problems. Inventory management and replenishment ranked the highest in terms of importance, though retailers rated their ability to solve the problem as low.

"Clearly, apparel retailers have been struggling with in-store inventory accuracy for a long time," states Mark Roberti, founder and editor of RFID Journal. "The data gathered by Dr. Hardgrave, from numerous RFID deployments in apparel retail stores, reveals that RFID can have a major impact on this once-intractable problem."

RFID in Fashion 2009 will reveal how retailers can deploy radio frequency identification to improve inventory accuracy, reduce shrinkage and increase sales. The event will feature objective case studies presented by apparel, footwear and accessory retailers and suppliers that have deployed RFID in their operations. Attendees will learn how these companies are employing the technology to:

• Improve in-store inventory accuracy from 65 percent to 98 percent

• Decrease the time required to take inventory in stores by 75 percent

• Reduce the time needed to receive goods into inventory by 85 percent

• Lower labor costs associated with markdowns by 50 percent

• Increase sales by as much as 15 percent

RFID in Fashion, coproduced by RFID Journal and the American Apparel & Footwear Association, is supported by the Vendor Compliance Federation and the Trade Promotion Management Associates (see VCF, TMPA to Sponsor RFID in Fashion Conference). Avery Dennison is the cornerstone sponsor of the event, which will feature a Leadership Forum, in which a select group of apparel retailers will discuss issues related to adoption of RFID technologies in the retail sector.