In Europe, RFID Shoes Less Likely To Walk Out The Store

Europe's second-largest shoe retailer, the Hamm-RENO Group, today confirmed a program to embed RFID chips into shoes to reduce shrink and to improve customer service.

The deal was between Checkpoint Systems and Reno (part of HR) and it is starting with 700 branches in six countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary.

"Tags can be integrated into the shoes, so they can be displayed in pairs or in boxes for customers to select from, without the risk of being shoplifted," said a joint statement. "This means that employees do not have to collect the second shoe from the store and are available to assist the customer throughout the selection procedure."

The NDRF-based (New Digital Radio Frequency) goods tagging system initial rollout is slated to be completed by May and uses what Checkpoint describes as a wafer-thin RF tag.

The technology approach also provided a non-intuitive benefit: wider aisles. The NDRF read capabilities allowed for aisle widths to be increased from 90 centimeters to 1.8 meters, the companies said.