Retail and apparel companies have been among the early adopters of RFID technologies, both internally and within their shared supply chains. Many businesses are already seeing benefits, and are prepared to share their insights about those benefits, as well as the implementation issues they needed to address before achieving them.

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23 Oct. 11:00

Can Online Retailers Be Disrupted? was founded in 1994, in the very early days of the World Wide Web. Since then, the company has had a major impact on the global retail landscape, paving the way for other online retailers and disrupting the business models of conventional "brick-and-mortar" retailers. Radio frequency identification gives companies with brick-and-mortar stores a chance to use technology to disrupt online retailers, by providing them with the inventory visibility necessary to become true omni-channel retailers, and to use stores as warehouses for same-day deliveries. But this can only be achieved if companies are using RFID for what it truly is—a disruptive technology. Learn how RFID should be properly viewed and deployed.
Speaker: Dr. Bill Hardgrave, Dean, Harbert College of Business , Auburn University
23 Oct. 11:40

Intersport Is Using RFID to Boost Sales, Decrease Costs

Intersport Jan Bols, an athletic equipment and clothing store located in the Netherlands, reports that it has boosted sales and decreased inventory-tracking costs via a radio frequency identification solution that tracks approximately 10,000 items storewide, from the back room to the point of sale (POS). With the technology in place, Intersport JB can now conduct a full inventory count weekly, as well as ensure that all goods are stocked on storefront displays, thereby increasing sales. The firm began testing the technology in November 2013, conducting weekly store counts of its inventory, and comparing the results against the manual counts and inventory data in the retailer's existing management software. During the pilot, the store found that a single employee using the technology required less than 30 minutes to perform an inventory count, with an accuracy of more than 99 percent. Learn how the use of RFID contributed to increased sales, since goods were more reliably displayed on the sales floor. In addition, hear how the checkout process was made quicker and more accurate, since the tags of all the items placed on the RFID-enabled counter are read instantly, and the POS system can then immediately provide a customer with transaction details, including the total cost.
Speaker: Alexander Bols, General Manager, Intersport Jan Bols
23 Oct. 12:20

Lunch Break in Exhibit Hall

23 Oct. 13:30

Wilko Fights Stock Loss With RFID

Wilko, a leading British housewares and household goods retailer with more than 300 stores, is using an RFID-enabled solution to improve inventory control and loss prevention. Although the stores were equipped with security tagging and closed-circuit television (CCTV), they were still losing stock and unable to prove how the product was being stolen, apart from empty packets left around the store. Learn how the RFID system alerts the store to loss, when it happens, with real-time visibility about what is passing through the tills and what isn't, before it is taken through the exit point.
Speaker: Karl Jordan, Senior Loss Prevention Investigator, Wilko
23 Oct. 14:15

Marks & Spencer Expands RFID to All Its Stores

A pioneer in the use of radio frequency identification, Marks & Spencer (M&S) is one of the United Kingdom's leading retailers, with some 760 stores. In 2001, M&S began using RFID to track deliveries of fresh food between its suppliers and distribution centers. In 2004, the company launched a major RFID effort, deploying a solution to tag and track some men's clothing items at several locations, and eventually expanding the deployment to 550 U.K. stores and additional types of apparel. Last year, Marks and Spencer upgraded its early RFID implementation and expanded the technology's use to include home goods. The firm is rolling out the new system throughout its store operations this year, with plans to have all of the new Gen 2 readers in place—and all of its apparel and home goods RFID-tagged—by spring 2014. Learn why the company expects the technology's future potential benefits to provide greater visibility and accuracy of all stock at the item level, from leaving a supplier through the distribution chain and into stores, as well as an opportunity to reduce the costs of annual stock-taking—plus, the loss of margin associated with excessive markdowns, theft and fraud.
Speaker: Richard Jenkins, Head of RFID Strategic Development, Marks & Spencer
23 Oct. 15:00

Networking Break in Exhibit Hall

23 Oct. 16:00

RFID Speeds Up Preparations for Flash Sales at Vente-privee

European online retailer Vente-privee sells a variety of goods through members-only flash sales, during which products are briefly offered at reduced rates. The firm receives product samples at its headquarters; prepares photographs, videos and other materials about those goods; and then returns the samples to the suppliers while proceeding with a flash sale. Vente-privee is employing a radio frequency identification solution to identify each tagged sample, as well as where it is currently located and where it has been. Learn how RFID enables the retailer to spend less time searching for samples, ensuring that the items are properly photographed and described as they circulate around the facility, before being returned to product suppliers.
Speaker: Lilian Mariani, Project Director, Vente-privee
23 Oct. 16:45

Wearable Technology—Connecting With Customers Via RFID

Four Levent, a spinoff of The Synthetic Family, has created a high-quality dress shirt with a Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID tag embedded in each cuff. The chip has enough memory to store a unique ID number, as well as some basic information. Whenever a shopper taps his or her smartphone on the NFC tag, that person is directed to the company's website, showing that particular shirt and size. The customer can then, via a free app, write his or her own information to the tags, such as a business card, a company URL or a link to a video. Learn how the firm is using RFID technology to connect with its customers and enhance customer loyalty, and how the tags can be used in even more creative ways.
Speaker: Hans Gunnarsson, Cofounder, Four Levent
23 Oct. 17:30

Closing Remarks

23 Oct. 17:35

Conference Concludes