SML launches its first UK retail RFID technology hub

Technology company SML has opened a new space in the UK, dedicated to showcasing its RFID tagging technologies and other products.

Dubbed a retail ideation space (RIS), the location in Corby, Northamptonshire, adds to similar venues the business has opened this year in Texas, US and in Shanghai, China.

SML will use the UK space to entertain retailers and talk them through RFID deployments, as well as to host ‘Academy’ workshops, which will allow interested parties to explore the various technologies and processes required to drive efficiencies within their operations.

Some 40% of the retail stores that use SML’s Clarity technology are located in the UK, including Matalan and Tesco’s F&F clothing arm, making a physical space in the country a viable business decision for the vendor.

In addition to showcasing its core RFID technology, SML will use the RIS in Corby to demonstrate how its product range supports omnichannel picking, customer experience, self-checkout and robotic deployments.

SML’s RIS scheme is the brainchild of the company’s vice president and CTO, Dean Frew, and his team. The UK site is being overseen by UK general manager, Shane Clarke.

“The UK market is one of the leading regions in the world for the adoption of RFID, with retailers such as Tesco and Matalan implementing significant rollouts of RFID technology across hundreds of their stores nationwide,” Clarke commented.

“Alongside France and Sweden, there has been a hive of retail-based item-level RFID pilots and rollouts by UK retailers, so the RIS in Corby is the perfect location for SML to support our customer’s RFID implementation.”

Frew added: “With the adoption of item-level RFID solutions within the retail industry rapidly accelerating in Europe, specifically within the UK, the location of the RIS was an obvious choice for SML.”