ABI: Market for Item-Level RFID in Fashion to Triple by 2014

RFID's ability to help apparel companies do more with less in the wake of economic downturn is driving an unprecedented surge in adoption throughout the sector.


Global sales of item-level RFID systems to apparel companies will essentially triple in size over the next five years, approaching US$125 million by the end of 2014.


“RFID's use in the apparel sector represents the greatest near-term opportunity for business improvements and fewest impediments to growth in the retail industry,” said ABI Research's RFID Practice Director Michael Liard. “A quick, demonstrable ROI and key business metrics for adoption have been clearly established and the results of nearly all evaluations conducted have been compelling. As a result, market activity is brisk and promising, especially among early-adopter specialty apparel retailers.”


According to a Research Brief from ABI Research, item-level RFID systems have become a key competitive advantage and business process automation differentiator for apparel companies due to their ability to drive increased sales and facilitate significant labor cost reductions by providing improved inventory visibility.


Previously limited to a small number of large-volume pilot tests, adoption of item-level RFID is beginning to permeate throughout the apparel sector and is increasingly evolving into full-scale implementations. “While installations at Marks and Spencer in the U.K., American Apparel in the U.S. and Charles V?gele in Switzerland remain the largest contributors to market growth, scores of companies are now in various stages of implementation. RFID in fashion apparel is undoubtedly here and now,” Liard said.


The Research Brief, “RFID Item-Level Tagging in Fashion and Apparel” quantifies the potential for deployments of item-level tagging in the fashion apparel and footwear sector over the next five years and identifies some of the main forces currently driving market growth. Other topics discussed include recent technological and product innovation, results reported from recent pilot tests and deployments, key vendor evaluation criteria, and market opportunity by geographic region.

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