February 17, 2004
M&S tests RFID in UK

UK retailer Marks & Spencer reports on their recent trials with RFID in a store in UK (quite an interesting summary, read it all here: Marks & Spencer's Technical Trial of RFID in the Garment Supply Chain:

Customer Reactions
  • During the High Wycombe trial, 50 customers browsing in the menswear department of High Wycombe were interviewed by an independent research company. The main findings were as follows:
    • Customers did not have spontaneous awareness of, or issues around, RFID technology (only one customer noticed the label without prompting)
    • The issue of the need to improve stock control was regarded as internal to Marks & Spencer
    • Taken together, the name of the label (it was called an 'Intelligent Label' during the trial), the symbol on the label, and the explanatory wording were variously interpreted as suggesting, for example, a security role or a reference to fabric information
    • While the customer leaflet provided during the trial was regarded as explaining the purpose of the label, it also contradicted it by stating that there was no requirement for the customer to retain the label for refund/return purposes
  • These points will be addressed in the redesign of the label and a new customer leaflet for use in the next trial (...).
Now this does seem like an interestingly feasible solution for both vendor and customer; sticking RFID tags on very easily removable paper tags (a la current price tags) that customers can remove before wearing the garments. Such a solution will mean avoiding some of the worse big brother scenarios while letting retailers check their inventories easily...

Notice that surprisingly(?) RFID was not used at checkout time; only for distribution centre order validation, order contents/transport tracking and scanning of shop inventories at the end of the evening.

(via UsingRFID.com (requires registration))

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Comments

We supply RFID products to industry. Especially UHF for the supply chain.

And we have never come across a customer wanting to track customers outside of their shops.

Posted by: Chris on January 27, 2005 05:34 PM

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Posted by: Drew on January 22, 2006 01:32 PM
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