Using chips sewn into merchandise, 'memove,' a Brazilian company, has fine tuned the distribution line from manufacture to inventory to point of sale.

Over the years we’ve seen how RFID technnology can be put to imaginative use, applied to everything from music festivals to eco-grave tracking to the feeding of cats. The latest spotting was at Brazilian fashion store Memove, where RFID was recently installed to track and control inventory throughout the supply chain.

Memove’s clothing manufacturers in Brazil, China and elsewhere begin by sewing an EPC Gen 2 passive RFID label into each item, according to a report in RFID Journal. With that in place, items are carefully tracked as they make their way to the distribution center and then the store, their arrival at which automatically updates the store’s inventory system. Also on hand at each store is an RFID-enabled trolley that need only be rolled through the aisles to update inventory in minutes. Dressing rooms are connected as well so as to track how many items enter and leave each stall. Shoppers, meanwhile, can check themselves out securely by placing all their items in a dedicated RFID-enabled basket, which calculates the total price. Once the customer has paid by debit or credit card at the POS terminal, the basket automatically updates inventory and erases each RFID label’s encoded ID number so that alarms won’t sound as the shopper exits the store. In the event the consumer later returns an item, RFID codes can be reprogrammed — but only if the tag hasn’t yet been washed. If it has, the tag can’t be re-encoded and the store refuses the return.

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