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Adidas reveals more info regarding RFID rollout at its NEO stores

A number of readers reached out to us about last week’s blog post on adidas’ use of RFID at its NEO retail stores in Germany. We got in touch with Anil Ramjiani, head of retail operations for adidas group’s NEO chain for some answers.

Discuss the decision to deploy RFID in the NEO stores. Has adidas used RFID in any other stores or in manufacturing/supply chain operations?

“In keeping with innovation throughout all adidas NEO’s retail processes, RFID is a new operational initiative for the adidas NEO business.

How will adidas benefit?

A NEO store in Berlin, Germany

“RFID allows adidas NEO to step into the unfamiliar territory of fast fashion and respond to the latest consumer trends. This is a process innovation for the adidas brand and reflects the customer’s desire to always have fresh fashion options. Unique to the adidas NEO business model is the use of RFID technology to manage in real time, both in-store product availability with daily deliveries to stores.”

Will RFID be rolled out to other retail outlets run by adidas?

“At this stage, only adidas NEO in Germany is using RFID, but adidas is exploring incorporating RFID into other labels within its business. adidas NEO is evaluating and testing RFID for success before expanding globally.”

How is RFID impacting the customer experience?

“To reduce the amount of time a shopper must wait in line at the checkouts at the adidas NEO stores in Germany, an RFID reader is used at the cash registers to capture all products in a customer’s selection at one time instead of scanning each item separately. Once the ticket is scanned the product is no longer in adidas NEO’s active RFID system.”

Tell us about the social mirrors being used to improve the consumer experience.

“The Social Mirror is in all the adidas NEO stores opening in Germany.  It is a life-size multimedia flat screen for shoppers to take pictures or create films wearing their favorite adidas NEO styles. They can instantly post this on Facebook or tweet it on Twitter so that their friends can give comments in milliseconds. The social mirror is not integrated with RFID technology.”

Is adidas tagging garments at the source of manufacture?

“adidas NEO’s entire stock inventory for Germany is tagged with RFID at its source factories. Product tracking begins as the product leaves the adidas NEO distribution center to ensure a more accurate delivery to the stores and help store staff ensure better on-shelf availability for shoppers.”

Does adidas plan to utilize RFID for the security benefits it offers, as well as the inventory management gains?

“adidas NEO is using RFID in stores in Germany to manage both real time on-shelf availability of product in the stores in Germany and store security. adidas NEO stores in Germany are also using RFID at check-out to more efficiently complete a shoppers’ purchase and reduce any waiting times.”

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