Jim Goodrick (11 May 2011)
"Tagging our clothes with ID numbers"

Apr. 26, 2011—American Apparel, a vertically integrated clothing manufacturer and retailer based in Los Angeles, is ramping up its item-level RFID tagging initiative, having just signed an agreement to deploy Xterprise's Clarity Advanced Retail System (ARS) software at 50 of its retail locations—25 of which will be located in the United States, the remainder overseas—by the end of this year. This will bring the total number of RFID-enabled stores operated by the company up to 100. The firm, which attributes improved stock levels and store performance to the technology, has already deployed radio frequency identification at 50 of its retail stores, most located in the United States.

"I make decisions based on numbers," says Stacey Shulman, American Apparel's VP of technology, explaining her company's aggressive RFID rollout. "And the ROI on RFID-enabled stores is no more than six months. Stores that are using the RFID system have proven to reduce shrink, improve stock levels and reduce [employee] turnover." After a careful analysis of these results, American Apparel's management team decided that pursuing RFID technology on a broad scale will help it manage its stores more proactively.