Interview with Francisco Melo

Francisco Melo
Francisco Melo
Vice President & General Manager, Global RFID
Avery Dennison
Avery Dennison

Apparel retailers see a less than a year payback, after using RFID solutions
Avery Dennison is one of the largest UHF partners in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)-enabled solutions with applications and global manufacturing capabilities that have produced over seven billion RFID tags and labels. Francisco Melo, vice president and general manager, Global RFID, Avery Dennison discusses the potential of RFID-driven omni-channel retail opportunities.

Where do you see the application of RFID increasing: in-store, backroom, or for product-tracking?

Within apparel retail, the growth of RFID is happening across the entire store. Because products are best tagged at source, items coming into the store have RFID tags, and retailers then gain visibility of what they have both on the sales floor and in the back room.

Can RFID improve the omni-channel retail experience?

Absolutely. RFID enables retailers to more confidently expose their entire in-store inventory, versus only doing so when items are above a certain safety stock threshold. This enables consumers to easily locate the items they need. And if the store they are shopping at does not have the item, the retailer can leverage RFID to quickly find it at another location.

While online shopping has slowed store traffic, store traffic that remains is valuable and purposeful - shoppers who are there are there to buy. This means that with an omni-channel environment retailers ensure they have the right inventory in store to optimise buying opportunities.

Outside of the store, as the world becomes increasingly connected, it's critical for brands and retailers to gain differentiation in the market through unique personalised consumer experiences. And having inventory accuracy is vital to the success of these platforms.

Today, retailers are engaging consumers on their smartphones; technology is revolutionising the consumer experience. Through Avery Dennison's RFID solutions and products, we're enabling the connection between the physical and digital worlds, connecting products with the internet of things (IoT) to improve the consumer omni-channel experience. 

For example, we recently collaborated with Sarah Angold, eponymous designer, to embed custom-made jewelry with RFID technology, providing links to Oak Labs' interactive mirrors to elevate the consumer experience. At the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Retail's BIG Show, held last month in New York City, attendees could try on the accessories to gain immediate access to item-level product information, insights on where and how the pieces were made, and were even given styling recommendations for a unique retail experience. 

What is the percentage share of RFID solutions being used in apparel retail globally?

Today, apparel retail represents 70 per cent of RFID tag volume, according to IDTEchX data.

What is the size of the apparel retailers that have adopted RFID solutions at Avery Dennison?

While we can't comment on all of our customers, globally, it is currently national and multinational retailers that are adopting RFID, including Marks & Spencer, Macy's, Decathlon, and lululemon.
Published on: 09/02/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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