River Island Joins the RFID Bandwagon

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River Island Joins the RFID Bandwagon


British fashion retailer River Island has contracted Byways Group to supply RFID-enabled apparel and accessories labels to its supply manufacturing partners and UK distribution center.

Byways is a long-standing supplier to River Island of labelling solutions. Byways has worked closely on the development of the RFID project for over three years, during which time adhesive label designs and specifications were agreed for the various products which will carry RFID-enabled labels. River Island also selected Nedap as its RFID hardware/software partner.

During the development project, River Island ran a multi-phase pilot at seven stores, demonstrating that using RFID-enabled labels and technology led to significant increases in sales across all the pilot stores due to improved product availability.

"In a world of omnichannel, product availability is king - accurate stock data is vital for us to successfully offer omnichannel services to our customers," said Jon Wright, head of global loss prevention & safety at River Island who led the project at the fashion retailer. "We are delighted at the success of the RFID pilot project, which saw stock accuracy rise to 97 percent; this has given us greater control of our inventory through item-level visibility and we are now rolling out hardware and software to our 280 UK stores. Byways has been a key partner throughout the project, supporting us at every stage, and I'm pleased that the relationship will be ongoing."

Byways is supplying River Island and its supply chain with Self Adhesive Inlays printed with variable data, each encoded with a unique Electronic Product Code. "Across the business, we have committed significant resources to assist River Island during the RFID development project and we're delighted that it has proven successful" said Mark Cohen, chairman of Byways Group. "We're looking forward to continuing the journey with River Island as their RFID strategy develops further."

RFID technology has reduced in price significantly in recent years and is seeing greater adoption by brands and retailers. Byways has relationships with several hardware and software suppliers to offer a tailored solution for a retailer's specific requirements. Byways is also a member of GS1, the organization that sets standards for RFID in Europe.