RFID Growth Tagged to Apparel
Much of the hyperbolic speech about radio frequency identification
(RFID) in retailing has been muted in recent years, but use of the technology
continues to grow.
“There are a lot of neat things going on in cold chain and agriculture,
but apparel item-level tagging is driving the industry,” Bill Hardgrave,
founder and director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas,
told RFID 24-7. “There is just tremendous movement there and we’ll
see substantial quantities by year end.”
Drew Nathanson, senior RFID analyst
and director of research operations at VDC Research Group, sees substantial
growth for both tags and RFID transponders in the next few years.
“Projects are scaling, conversion times from pilot/evaluation to deployment
are decreasing and adoption among new accounts is increasing,” Mr. Nathanson
told RFID 24-7. “Budgets are way up, significant purchase orders
for delivery throughout 2011 are being placed, and RFID is becoming more deeply
integrated. Simply stated, the end user is more committed to RFID than ever
Mr. Hardgrave agreed. “It seems like almost every week
we’re talking to another retailer moving down that path, and those numbers
are starting to add up. We’ve moved past those phase one pilots and really
now into the next phase, which is rolling out chain-wide or a store at a time
and the numbers are increasing. On the passive UHF side, we’ll see numbers
by the end of the year that we’ve never seen before.”
the largest clothing retailer in Switzerland, is considered one of the retail
industry’s success stories, using RFID with EPC Gen 2 labels from the point
of manufacture to the point of sale.
“We have begun streamlining our operations and supporting our sales in
ways that simply were not possible before. In many ways this marks the beginning
of a retail revolution,” said Thomas Beckmann, VP of supply chain, Charles
Vögele Group, in a press release.
Discussion Questions: What is your assessment of the current state of radio
frequency identification technology in retail? Where are the greatest opportunities
for its application and where does it still face challenges?
- Retailers drive item-level tagging; tag sales could top 10.5B units by 2014
– RFID 24-7
- Charles Vögele Group Finds RFID Helps It Stay Competitive – RFID