By  on August 21, 2007

Levi Strauss & Co. is rolling out radio frequency identification tags in 40 of its stores in Mexico to speed checkout and manage inventory. It is one of the largest deployments of the tags on sales-floor clothing.

A wireless tag reader from Tagsys will be stationed at checkout, where clerks can quickly ring up a sale and deactivate security for several items at once rather than scanning each garment separately with a barcode reader.

The Tagsys reader has been designed to accurately read the RFID tags on stacked garments and not to mistakenly read other garments located nearby, said Cambridge, Mass.-based Tagsys, which announced on Monday that Levi's would use its RFID readers. Levi's and services firm Grupo Hasar were not immediately available for comment.

Levi's has also worked on RFID installations with Liverpool, the largest retailer in Mexico with 61 stores. Tests at Liverpool found that tagging jeans increased inventory accuracy to 99 percent from 80 percent, reduced taking inventory to two hours from one day, and trimmed out-of-stocks to 1 percent from 5 percent.

Levi's has 138 company-owned stores and 1,100 franchised stores worldwide.

Tagsys also announced that apparel retailer Throttleman of Portugal is using RFID to speed the movement of goods through its distribution centers and restock store shelves more quickly. The company processes 1.5 million pieces of apparel per year and aims to reduce its distribution process by five days, according to Tagsys.

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