RFID Arena

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Looking back even just 15 years and even fashion magazines wouldn't have access to haute couture outfits for fashions shoots. These days consumers buy catwalk replicas within weeks of the fashion show. RFID does its bit to enable this development.

A number of players in the apparel industry are implementing or at least piloting RFID. Prominent retailers such as American Apparel, Nike, JC Penney and Gerry Weber have experienced clear improvenments to operational efficiency and dramatic increases in inventory accuracy leading to direct sales increases. Both pilots and research on the field demonstrate that RFID not only fine tunes, but allows for retailers to re-think how their products make their way from designers to the consumers. In some cases the reprocessing and RFID enabled customer feedback has shortened the design-to-store time with an impressive 7 weeks.

In the 19 European Countries that amount to 98% of the continents' (excl. Russia) retail apparel sales the total market size was 301 billion Euros in 2009. The 10 largest players interpret trends from the catwalks and within weeks of the fashion shows introduce their clients exciting versions of their favorite catwalk items. Some compete on the ability to recognize consumer trends, some with the speed to productize, others with selected market space. Once the main vendors start implementing RFID, I claim others have no choise but to follow.

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