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Kohl's Completes RFID Roll-out to Track Apparel

Department store Kohl's has completed its installation of a radio frequency identification solution to track garments in select categories at its stores, as well as distribution centers.

The technology was deployed by Checkpoint Systems, which provided middleware, integration, hardware, tags and labels. The deployment followed a pilot undertaken at 25 stores to gauge the effectiveness of reading passive EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags on garments during inventory counts. Now, a large number of strategic apparel departments, including footwear, denim and men's basics (such as underwear and T-shirts), are being tagged at various points along their supply chain, and then counted during regular inventory cycle counts via handheld readers.

Kohl's, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., operates stores throughout the United States, selling clothing, home and beauty products. In spring of 2012, the company began investigating the use of RFID technology to improve inventory accuracy by tagging select items and reading those tags during inventory counts. In the fall of 2012, the retailer expanded the technology to a pilot involving 25 stores. Following the successful pilot, Checkpoint and Kohl's began planning the rollout to Kohl's stores for the selected product categories in the spring of 2013, says Per Levin, Checkpoint's president and chief sales officer for merchandise availability solutions.

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