Radio Frequency Identification Systems are the future of retail.
Levi Strauss invented the first work trousers for cowboys, prospectors, and farmers in San Francisco in the late 19th century. That is when the practical and hard-wearing work trousers made of denim fabric started to conquer the world – and laid the foundation for one of the apparel industry’s most coveted brands.
Today, Levi Strauss & Co. has once again achieved a pioneering position regarding the use of RFID technology: 100% of US stores are already RFID-enabled, and a staggering 50 million Levi’s products are currently tagged with UHF RFID labels. As a true leader, the company doesn’t rest on its laurels, though: By 2021, 3,000 Levi’s stores around the globe will be equipped with UHF RFID tags as well.
“RFID technology is becoming the standard. In the trade with goods, the customer and the product should be the focus. The use of RFID technology promotes this goal, as employees become digital shopping experts and advise customers about products they have not yet had the chance to hold in their hands. There will be no future in retail without RFID.” — Stefan Otte, Vice President Global Real Estate & Partner Retail, at Levi Strauss & Co.
“No future in retail without RFID”
In a comprehensive article, the “RFID & WIRELESS IOT GLOBAL” magazine sheds light on the history of Levi Strauss’ RFID implementation, the company’s motivation, experiences, and plans for the near future. The magazine also conducted an interview with Stefan Otte, Vice President Global Real Estate & Partner Retail, at Levi Strauss & Co., who said that “RFID technology is becoming the standard. In the trade with goods, the customer and the product should be the focus. The use of RFID technology promotes this goal, as employees become digital shopping experts and advise customers about products they have not yet had the chance to hold in their hands. There will be no future in retail without RFID.”
Sales increase thanks to RFID
That statement alone should lure apparel retail decision-makers into reading the article carefully. In doing so, they will get to know the in-depth reasons for the global rollout in 110 countries, which, in a nutshell, is centered around optimizing inventory accuracy, according to Stefan Otte: “The increase in inventory accuracy to almost 100 percent opens up new potentials in sales. Stores in which the RFID application is already fully operational records an average increase in the low to mid single digits,” reports Stefan Otte.” On top of that, omnichannel shopping, self-service terminals, and much more can be integrated once RFID is implemented.
Readers of the RFID & WIRELESS IOT GLOBAL article will learn more about Levi Strauss’s RFID implementation process and Avery Dennison’s involvement in that roll-out, which includes the delivery of pre-coded paper labels directly to the manufacturers of Levi’s products.
|At a glance: The Levi Strauss CompanyIn 1853, Levi Strauss, born in northern Bavaria, Germany, founded a trade for fabrics and haberdashery in San Francisco, which later became known as Levi Strauss & Co. Strauss recognized a need for robust work trousers. As a result, he and Jacob Davis, a tailor, created the first jeans. In 1873 they received a US patent for “waist overalls” with metal rivets at the stress points. Today, Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest apparel companies and a global leader in jeans, with some 500 stores worldwide, and its products available in more than 100 countries. Levi Strauss & Co. employs 14,400 people worldwide and sells its products in over 50,000 retail locations in 110 countries and online. The Levi’s® brand is just one part of the story. Levi Strauss & Co is also home to Dockers® and Denizen®.
Digital ID technologies enable sustainability for apparelBy source tagging garments with a unique digital identity Avery Dennison can help provide brands with deeper transparency into their supply chains. The unique digital identity will also be able to communicate the product lifecycle and garment composition which can enable a more circular economy. Avery Dennison’s recent project with Levi’s and R Collective is an example of how digital IDs are being used to provide traceability for garments.