A new clothing store opened by Finnish apparel company NP Collection utilizes RFID technology throughout the store. The “intelligent” store, located in Hollola, Finland, uses RFID both to improve efficiency in behind-the-scenes applications like inventory management, and to offer customers fast, interactive customer service.
In an application similar to the Magic Mirror system now being deployed in Australia, RFID-enabled changing rooms detect tags in clothing and offer customers additional product information, accessorizing tips, and can process requests for additional products or alternate sizes to be brought to the changing room. RFID scanners at checkout stations speed that process, and the RFID tags also function as security devices at store exits.
RFID tags are inserted into all of NP Collection’s products at the time of manufacture, and the tags are scanned throughout the logistics chain to enhance inventory and shipping controls. At the store, the information accumulated through the inventory process is used to plan shelf-use and other retail elements.
The RFID solution, which is an extension of a development project begun in 2007, will expand to a new NP Collection store in St. Petersburg, Russia, in November. Additional, modified system deployments will be used by NP Collections in “shop-in-shop” arrangements with other retailers selling the company’s apparel.
The technology used in the intelligent store solution is supplied by several heavy hitters in the RFID market, including UPM Raflatac, RDN, SML, Impinj, Microsoft, IBM and Digia.