Retailers are flocking to New York City this week for the National Retail Federation’s 104th Big Show. Many of them are interested in learning more about RFID technology.
They will have the opportunity to do just that at two general sessions being offered during the event. The first, hosted by global RFID services provider Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS), will be held Monday morning.
RFID expert Dr. Bill Hardgrave, Dean of the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University, will be joined on the panel by executives from Lululemon and Macy’s to discuss how brands and retailers can determine if RFID is the right solution for their business.
Francisco Melo, vice president of global RFID at RBIS, and RFID Journal editor Mark Roberti will also be on the panel of the Big !deas discussion.
“A number of retailers have been very clear about the benefits of RFID and several large retailers have been advocates for this,” says Melo. “The panel will focus primarily on when people should adopt the technology and when is a retailer at a state of readiness to embrace a program like this. Secondly, we’ll discuss how to ensure successful adoption.”
According to Avery Dennison, more than 50 percent of the leading apparel, department store, and mass merchant retailers are globally assessing, testing, or adopting RFID because of the benefits and success exhibited by early users. But while statistics like 99 percent inventory accuracy rates and 60-80 percent reduction in out-of-stocks are impressive, the technology is also the key to advanced strategies like omni-channel retailing and loss prevention.
Macy’s has been one of the leaders in RFID adoption, while Lululemon has been relatively quiet about its use of the technology.
“Over the past years there have been a lot of people piloting but not that many people seriously engaging with RFID, but we are seeing a shift there,” says Mele. “Arguably less people now are wanting to pilot as opposed to wanting to move forward into production.”
Mele says that Avery Dennison is seeing positive momentum in the U.S., and expects that eventually adoption in the U.S. will catch up to Europe.
“Europe continues ahead in terms of global adoption, but we are seeing more activity here for sure,” he says. “At some point in the future we will see the U.S. catch up, although that will not be this year.”
GS1 US will host a second panel on RFID on Tuesday that will address predictive analytics and real time inventory visibility. Included in the panel are Eileen DiLeo, executive vice president of stores, Hudson’s Bay Company, Peter Longo, president, Macy’s logistics and operations, Macy’s Inc., and Ken Duane, CEO, Heritage Brands and North America Wholesale, PVH Corp.