Gieves & Hawkes exploring RFID route

The new Gieves & Hawkes store in The Mailbox, Birmingham is using RFID technology to help the retailer gain a clearer view of stock inventory and to aid the business's loss prevention strategy.

Further installations of the technology are being discussed with solutions provider Catalyst, but for now the menswear retailer is solely monitoring results in the West Midlands store, which opened last summer.

Sam Thompson, regional IT manager for Gieves & Hawkes parent company Trinity Group, said: "The technology has been easy to deploy and the store appreciates the benefits it offers.

"The data generated is useful in managing store stock levels."

Catalyst, which is owned by global supply chain organisation Li & Fung, operates a cloud-based data platform and is providing Gieves & Hawkes with handheld readers for scanning products and overhead readers, which are invisible to the customer but offer the company's staff item level intelligence. The tech range is showcased in the company's London, New York and Hong Kong showrooms, allowing retailers to walk in and see the solutions in action in a mock-up store scenario.

Essential Retail visited the Catalyst London showroom in 2014 and witnessed how the readers can be combined with other technology such as smart changing room systems or digital screens, to boost the customer's in-store experience.

Catalyst works alongside Smartrac for the Gieves & Hawkes project, with the latter's UCode 7 Web RFID tags printed, encoded and applied to all garments delivered to the store. The tags are deactivated using Catalyst's ePay readers at the till point, with the information fed straight into the retailer's point of sale system, giving the business a real-time view of stock inventory.

The RFID solution also provides an alternative to electronic article surveillance in the fight against theft.

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