European retailer embeds RFID chips in shoes

One of Europe’s largest shoe companies plans to embed wireless chips in shoes sold at hundreds of stores across the continent.

Under a deal announced Friday, Checkpoint Systems Inc. will provide Reno GmbH with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags and store tagging systems.

The tagging specialist will deliver wafer-thin RFID chips designed especially for shoes from its Asian production facilities, in addition to systems that allow check-out clerks to quickly and easily deactivate tagged products.

By having the tags integrated into it shoes, Reno aims to curb theft for both boxed products and those on display, as well as shoes customers try on in the stores.

Reno has been using RFID technology to track product shipments from its factories to its stores for several years but has not yet used the technology to track individual products inside each store.

The shoe company, based in Thaleischweiler-Froschen, Germany, operates more than 700 stores in 15 countries. It is a member of the Hamm-Reno-Group GmbH & Co. KG (HR Group), which has more than 1,700 outlets across Europe.

Last year, Checkpoint Systems landed a deal with German retail giant Metro AG to supply RFID systems.

The German retail giant, with more 2,300 supermarkets and wholesale, department and electronics stores, is collaborating with several IT companies, including IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and SAP AG, and more than 40 additional consumer goods and technology suppliers to develop RFID systems for the retail sector.

RFID tagging is expected to be a main theme at this year’s Cebit trade show, which begins March 15 in Hanover, Germany.

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