CHICAGO — Another retailer is hopping on the radio frequency identification bandwagon — Abercrombie & Fitch.
But the teen retailer won’t be putting the cutting-edge technology in with its jeans and T-shirts at its namesake stores. Instead, A&F will try out RFID in its new, more expensive store format, which is being launched in August. A&F said earlier this year it would open four prototype stores this fall in the new format, which has yet to be named.
Neco Can, senior director of applications development at Columbus, Ohio-based A&F, told the Retail Systems conference here Monday that the new format “will sell expensive clothes to adults and it will be somewhere between Prada and Banana Republic.”
He declined to provide further details, but said the format would be the first in the group to use RFID at the item level to prevent out-of-stocks. The company was testing the technology in the new format because it would be too costly to modify existing A&F stores to use RFID without it being proven.
Can has previous experience with RFID — he was at Gap and helped that retailer do its RFID pilot. When RFID was tested there, Can said, Gap found that the stores using RFID saw sales increases of 7 to 15 percent. He cautioned, however, that it was unclear whether or not that resulted from the use of RFID.
— Cate T. Corcoran