Italian fashion brand Herno has deployed an RFID system for loss prevention, inventory management and supply chain logistics, leveraging reader technology that is invisible at its stores. With the solution implemented at 10 of its global retail sites, Herno maintains each store's aesthetic. When shoppers enter one of those stores, they are surrounded by greenery in keeping with the surrounding landscape, rather than technology. The RFID system is strategically deployed to accomplish product visibility without drawing attention to itself.
The solution includes a combination of fixed readers according to each store's design, as well as a reader station used at the point of sale to deactivate the UHF RFID tags sewn into each garment's care label. All installations consist of hardware hidden either under the floor, in the ceiling or in the walls, enabling the entrance to remain completely unobstructed. The store's aesthetics can thus be centered around natural environments and the products being sold there.
The solution chose to implement a combination of AdvanSafe-200, AdvanMat-300 and AdvanGate systems, and each store also employs AdvanPay-160 station for tag deactivation.
When each garment is manufactured, a UHF RFID tag is sewn into the product. Each tag's unique ID number is linked to the specific stock-keeping unit (SKU) information about that garment in the software, which is integrated with ERP software. The tags can be read as the goods move to a store, and again as they are received. With this data, Herno knows which products are on site at each location, as well as when inventory refurbishments might be necessary or if bottlenecks have occurred in the supply chain.
Once the apparel is received and scanned into the system at each store, it is displayed on the sales floor. At some stores, an AdvanSafe-200 overhead reader with beam steering is built into the ceiling. It detects each tag ID number as items move through the doorway, thereby alerting sales associates if a tagged item is leaving the site, for loss prevention and re-ordering. The AdvanMat-300, in some cases, is installed in the floor to capture tag IDs for the same purpose. The AdvanGate consists of discrete pedestals installed around the doorway.
The AdvanPay reader is situated near the point of sale, where tags can be read and deactivated once a sales transaction is complete. Each tag can then be reactivated if a customer returns any of the garments. The solution was rolled out beginning in the summer of 2018, and the technology is now live at all 10 stores. While the pilot store was the first to go live, it was followed by other sites in Paris, London, Cannes, Manhattan's Soho neighborhood and Woodbury, N.Y. The most recent opening in Venice took place in June 2020. The RFID deployment at each site is somewhat unique with regard to furniture, the buildings and the rooms in which the goods are being sold.
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