RFID Talk Blog

Retail RFID guru Zander Livingston pursues RFID riches with Truecount Corp.

During his six years at clothing retailer American Apparel, Zander Livingston saw RFID boost sales by at least 15 percent in stores where item level tagging was implemented. In addition, he witnessed production increases of 75 percent for functions like inventory management and receiving.

It’s no wonder that Livingston has fled retail for RFID riches. With the technology exploding at the retail level, Livingston has formed his own firm, Truecount Corp., which will focus exclusively on end-to-end solutions for the retail supply chain.

The Dorset, Vt.-based firm hopes to ride the unprecedented growth of RFID at the retail industry — especially with apparel retailers. RFID is expected to represent more than a $6 billion industry by the end of the year. (Click here to read more about RFID’s explosive growth in the retail sector.)

“Throughout my six years in this industry, I have experienced first-hand the dramatic results RFID can achieve for retailers, and am impassioned by the possibilities for item-level RFID for retail,” says Livingston, who will serve as CEO of the company. “I am happy to know that my contributions at American Apparel were significant in shaping the state of RFID in retail today.”

According to Drew Nathanson, senior RFID analyst and director of research operations at VDC Research Group, Inc., more than 400 million tags will be consumed by retailers in 2010, a number that jumps to 800 million in 2011. By 2014, he projects 3.4 billion tags will be used in retail, including item-level tags, as well as tags used for smart courtesy cards and access control.

Livingston says that Truecount will combine a powerful, integrated software platform with consulting, training and implementation services to give retailers greater control over assets. He says that says a primary motivation for founding Truecount was “the great opportunity” to take advantage of the lack of strong retail software solutions in the RFID space.

Livingston has formed Truecount as a partnership with software industry executive Jordan Lampert, and enterprise architect Paresh Yadav. Although no customer names were unveiled in the firm’s press release, company execs say they are being pursued by major store brands and are working with a category-leading retailer on the upcoming launch of their RFID solution.

“The pilot periods have ended. RFID has proven its value with impressive ROI results,” says Lampert. “Current economic conditions are actually accelerating the growth of RFID by creating new challenges for retailers. Businesses at all levels are being forced to reduce staff at a time when they need to control shrinkage and balance inventory as never before.”

“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 in a recent story. “There is just tremendous movement there and we’ll see substantial quantities by year end. On the passive UHF side, we’ll see numbers by the end of the year that we’ve never seen before.”

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