Retail’s BIG Show 2016 – The Rebecca Minkoff brand has been using RFID in its luxury stores since 2014, offering the customer a more immersive experience.
At the National Retail Federation (NRF) ‘Big Show 2016’ event, held in New York City on 17 – 20 January, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology stood out as one of the major stars of the show. The use of RFID has become widespread in recent years, whether for product identification, stock inventory, or in-store data gathering. During a session entitled ‘RFID: Merging the Physical and Digital World to Enhance Consumer Experience’, Professor Bill C. Hardgrave, founder of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, revealed that “among the top 100 US retailers, half have RFID-related projects running. Of these, 20% are at the proof of concept stage, 30% are testing the technology and 50% are already using it”. The key example examined during the session was New York-based luxury fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff, which has created a connected store offering customers a totally immersive experience based on RFID technology.
Video Demo of the connected fitting room in Rebecca Minkoff’s flagship New York store
Since 2014 the store, located in SoHo, Lower Manhattan, has been using RFID technology – placing RFID tags on the clothes – to identify the items that a customer takes into the fitting room. The customer can then request that additional articles be displayed on an interactive mirror inside the fitting room. The concept is somewhat similar to that of Berlin-based Apparently Different, a company on which L’Atelier reported at the beginning of the year. During the session, Rebecca Minkoff President and CEO Uri Minkoff, explained that “RFID helps to improve the customer experience as the technology tells you which products are in the store, where they are, and how you can find them quickly,” adding: “So the customer kind of owns the store!‟