One of the nation’s leading purveyors of radio frequency identification technology, or RFID, thinks it’s just getting comfortable in its natural home — the apparel specialty store.
R. Shawn Neville, president of Avery Dennison’s retail branding and information solutions unit, noted that RFID technology has been around for more than 40 years but is just now beginning to become established in specialty stores after early adoption by large discounters and, more recently, by department stores such as Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and, in the U.K., Marks & Spencer.
“The other four-letter word that I think has been very confusing to the industry as it relates to its enablement is RFID,” Neville said. “It’s actually been around over 40 years in many different applications. And it’s been actually very confusing to most, especially in our industry, because it’s actually taken on so many different forms.
“Why is that? If you actually look at RFID, first of all, it was very expensive,” he said. “It still is relatively expensive but we do believe there’s a value in it. But its primary focus was at a case and item level in supply chains, a supply chain solution. For the reality is, it is to a degree, but it will never pay for itself because the entire benefit of RFID — not the entire benefit but at least 85 percent — is when that case is opened and impacts the store.
“And if we take it even a step further, the future of RFID is not necessarily to just make sure that we can see the inventory,” Neville continued. “It’s to make the lives of store associates and the lives of consumers much easier so they’re empowered to enjoy.”
While RFID has innate advantages over bar-code technology for high-volume users, such as its ability to scan nearly 200 items a second with 99 percent accuracy, its relatively high cost makes it a more comfortable fit for higher-margin products and the merchants who sell them, he said.
RFID offers ease of use that makes it a natural fit for both store associates and consumers in an increasingly digital world, he asserted. Burberry’s flagship on Regent Street in London, which opened in September, is equipped with an RFID system that activates videos showing the craftsmanship built into individual products being considered by shoppers. Germany’s Gerry Weber went chainwide with RFID about two years ago.
As with bar codes, introduced in the mid-20th century, acceptance has been slow. Neville told WWD that of more than 100 billion units of apparel produced globally every year — 40 billion of them for the U.S. and European Union — RFID is only being applied to between 1 billion and 1.5 billion. “The fastest application of RFID right now is in the apparel industry,” Neville said, “and it’s still less than 1 percent of global production. But a lot of people have dipped their toe in the water the last few years.”
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)