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Retail, Retail Operations Management.

Clothing Retailers Hang Hopes on Item-Level RFID

By George Anderson

February 17, 2012

The question of a “tipping point” for the use of item-level radio frequency identification in apparel retailing has been around for years as prominent merchants such as American Apparel, Bloomingdale’s, J.C. Penney and Macy’s have used the technology to better manage stock and reduce shrink.

In a RetailWire poll last September, one-third of respondents said that 51 percent or more of all apparel merchants would be using item-level radio frequency identification technology in the next five years. Half said somewhere between 26 and 50 percent of clothing store operators would be doing the same.

A survey conducted by Accenture for the VICS (Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions Association) Item-Level RFID Initiative bears out the RetailWire findings. According to the report, Item-Level RFID: A Competitive Differentiator, “Most major apparel and footwear retailers will adopt RFID technology in some part of their business within the next three-five years if recent momentum continues.”

The latest chain to go all-in on item-level RFID is American Apparel, which is rolling out the technology to all of its stores in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe after two years of testing.

According to the Accenture/VICS research, American Apparel has gained 99 percent greater inventory accuracy and improved sales by 14 percent where it has used item-level RFID to date. Stacy Shulman, VP of technology for American Apparel, recently told RFID Journal that internal shrink has dropped up to 75 percent at stores with item-level tags.

American Apparel Adopting RFID at Every Store – RFID Journal

Item-Level RFID: A Competitive Differentiator – VICS/Accenture

Macy’s Moves to Item-Level Tracking Using RFID – RetailWire

via RetailWire Discussion: Clothing Retailers Hang Hopes on Item-Level RFID.


About Bob Innes

Who am I and what I do best! I am a skilled Sales and Marketing team player known for performing behind the scenes miracles that increase base distribution, improve customer relationship management, exceed annual sales volume,and profitability for Consumer Packaged Goods companies. And I've been doing it for over 15 years. My successful contributions include such clients as Kraft Foods, Mars, Bumble Bee Foods, Unilever, Johnson and Johnson and SC Johnson, and JM Smuckers.


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