Retail RFID Update at RFID Journal LIVE 2015 Show


Retail RFID was the top discussion at this year’s RFID Journal LIVE! Show. Top retailers and brands were touting the benefits of item-level RFID in retail nearing mass adoption.

Retail RFID Update at RFID Journal LIVE 2015 Show

Retail RFID was the top discussion at this year's RFID Journal LIVE! Show, held April 15-17th in San Diego. Top retailers and brands were touting the benefits of item-level RFID in retail nearing mass adoption.

"RFID has been so successful that we just received our next round of capital," says Pam Sweeney, senior vice president of logistics systems at Macy’s. Pam mentioned that vendors selling to Macy's using RFID source tagging saw 5 to 30 percent sales lift depending on the amount of products tagged.

UK-based retailer John Lewis has been able to reduce out-of-stocks by up to 20 percent, while increasing sales by as much as 15 percent in tagged categories with weekly cycle counts.

Leading omni-channel retailers rated RFID as the key to flexible fulfillment.

Levi Strauss currently consumes about 60 million tags annually for tagging of men's jeans. Ernesto Hochkoeppler, director of logistics planning for Levi Strauss, says the company continues to see the need to tag more products. He added, "It is in our road map to get away from hang tags, which are not pleasing to the eye and have an issue of falling off the garments." The number of RFID tags should reach 80 million this year, and exceed 100 million units in 18 months as the retailer begins to tag men's shorts and more women's lines.

RFID hardware and software solutions continuing to advance

There were major announcements from a number of solution suppliers: Impinj announced its 10 Billionth UHF RFID chip sold; NXP and its NFC Tag chip; Zebra's MC18 mobile computer won red dot design; Tyco Retail Solutions announced RFID in more than 2,500 retail stores globally. Brands and retailers are taking the technology to mass adoption with the latest advancements in RFID performance, speed, security and convenience.

"RFID has become a critical foundation for success in today’s retail environment," says Nancy Chisholm, President, Tyco Retail Solutions. "Anchored by effective use cases and proven returns, our RFID powered solutions are gaining global momentum. We will continue to help unleash the benefits RFID offers retailers worldwide and to support the advancement of this critical IoT application."

Moreover, the potential for apparel tagging remains enormous. Bill McBeath, chief research officer at Chainlink Research, estimates that only 5-10 percent of economically taggable apparel items are currently tagged.

Of course, TexTrace also was at RFID Journal LIVE! this year, demonstrating how item-level RFID can go beyond inventory management and provide brand authentication and customer interaction. With woven RFID brand labelled products, exhibit visitors tested their TexTrace tag at the Keonn AdvanLook interactive retail display terminal to see if their tag was authentic to receive a bar of genuine Swiss chocolate.

Over the last five years, TexTrace has seen considerable growth in the fashion industry since they first introduced the technology to manufacture truly textile RFID labels for item level retail inventory management.