Attention shoppers: Expedited checkout is on the way

The project will investigate the unique RFID challenges associated with shoes and clothing, and explore "cash register-less" checkout.
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff August 9, 2007

The University of Arkansas is partnering with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions Association to test the feasibility of passive UHF RFID tagging of footwear and apparel in the U of Ark RFID Research Center.

“We have the opportunity to know everything about an item as it moves through the supply chain and is purchased.”
—Bill Hardgrave, director, RFIDResearchCenter

The project will investigate the unique RFID challenges associated with shoes and clothing, and explore “cash register-less” checkout.

“Someone looking for a size 3isn’t going to buy size 2 or 4, which they might do with a smaller or larger catsup bottle. If the store can’t find a size 3, they’ve lost the sale,” says Bill Hardgrave, director of the RFID Research Center.

The lab will configure a 2,000-square-foot model store, and test accuracy and performance of reads on shoes and clothes in totes, pallets, and hanging on racks moving through portals. It also will test the feasibility of “shoppers” passing their purchase items past a reader, which will account for all items, and tally totals without a clerk handling each item individually.

“RFID continuously brings us closer to true demand-driven supply chain management in real time. We have the opportunity to know everything about an item as it moves through the supply chain and is purchased, moving product efficiently and reducing safety stock as much as possible,” says Hardgrave.