In The News

July 24th, 2018

Vendor view: why new-look retail tech partnerships are emerging

Retail Connections gathers views from prominent figures in the retail technology industry to get the lowdown on a raft of new-look retail tech partnerships cropping up across the globe.

The Microsoft-Walmart technology deal announced on 17 July is one of a new breed of retail tech partnerships emerging across the industry.

Much of the five-year contract agreed by the US’s largest grocer and one of the country’s most prominent tech houses revolves around cloud-based services and artificial intelligence (AI) development, but the deal – like others announced recently – has a different flavour to retail tech partnerships of the past. (more…)

July 11th, 2018

SML Produced 1.4 Billion Tags for Retailers in 2017

Jul 10, 2018— The adoption of radio frequency identification technology in retail is growing about 30 percent a year, but SML, a global retail technology company, reports that its sales are increasing even faster. The company says it sold 1.4 billion encoded RFID tags in 2017 and that its technology — in the form of labels, software solutions or both — is in use in 95 percent of the world’s retail RFID deployments.

The company’s sales are outpacing the average adoption rate, due in large part to its Clarity Software solution, says Dean Frew, SML’s CTO and RFID solutions senior VP. In the past year, he says, the company did two large rollouts with vertically integrated retailer customers – companies that sell their own products — which helped fuel SML’s end-to-end solution growth rate. He says both companies who sell their own brands in the U.S. and Europe have asked not to be named. (more…)

July 9th, 2018

SML continues to expand capacity to support growing global RFID market for Retail

SML, the leading full-service Item-level RFID solution provider, has today announced its impressive progress in the retail industry. In 2017, the company produced over 1.4 billion encoded RFID tags, allowing SML to deliver encoded RFID tags to over 95% of the retail RFID rollout projects around the world.

SML is a trusted partner to the world’s largest retailers and top fashion brands, delivering proven results and rapid ROI. SML offers a broad range of certified RFID-enabled labels, stickers, hang tags, woven labels, printed fabric labels and inlays from the largest global network of RFID source-tagging service bureaus. (more…)

July 9th, 2018

How retailers can avoid a red card this World Cup

Without question a busy retail period is hugely profitable for businesses. In particular, national and international events can present retailers with a number of significant business opportunities such as increased customer engagement, creating jobs for store associates and opportunities to drive sales at an exponential rate.

Major sporting events in particular offer retailers vast opportunities to take advantage of an increased customer demand. For example, this Summer’s FIFA World Cup will see retailers experience an influx of customers looking to purchase replica shirts, electronics, food and alcohol. Yet, whilst these events encourage customers to spend more, it can also present a burden for retailers who aren’t prepared for the sudden increase in customer interest. (more…)

July 6th, 2018

Retail Worlds Q&A: Dean Frew, Chief Technology Officer, SML Group

Dean Frew, chief technology officer at the SML Group, talks to Retail Systems about his career and views on the industry.

How did you get into the sector?

I was part of the standards development at MIT in the early 2000s. From there I started a company with the aim of delivering item-level RFID solutions for retailers and brands owners, changing the way they manage their inventory.

How long have you been in your current role and what have been the highlights so far?

I was the founder and chief executive of Xterprise from 2002 to 2013. In 2013, the company was acquired by SML and I became the president of SML Intelligent Inventory Solutions (SML IIS), previously Xterprise. Two years later, I took on the role of chief technology office and senior vice president of RFID solutions at SML Group. In this role I’m responsible for all RFID technology within the group and the planning and logistics within the RFID solutions sector. (more…)

May 24th, 2018

Using RFID To Take Customer Service To The Next Level

Originally posted in The BarCode News

A leading global retailer in the UK serves 80 million shopping trips per week. A pioneer in leveraging technology to improve the customer experience, the brand has deployed RFID in hundreds of stores for accurate inventory management of one of the largest and most thorough retail RFID deployments in the world. Now the company is looking at new ways to use RFID to continue serving customers a little better every day.  Their team of more than 480,000 employees worldwide strives to serve shoppers a little better every day.

Blending this customer service heritage with a track record of innovation, this retailer has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the customer experience with the help of technology. As a fashion brand, this meant the deployment ofRFID technology to improve inventory management and enable more efficient and responsive shopper engagement models.  

May 9th, 2018

Investigating active and intelligent packaging

Originally posted in Labels & Labeling 

‘There’s no way around active and intelligent packaging anymore,’ exclaims Eef de Ferrante, AIPIA executive director, in opening the association’s latest World Congress. 

It is evident that active and intelligent packaging technologies have become a much more common occurrence in recent times. They have taken on many forms, been used to deliver different results, and have broadened their reach into new markets and applications. For instance, CCL-Kontur has produced promotional labels for Miller Alcohol Free bottles in Russia featuring NFC tags that function as an active recording device. Selinko and Toppan Printing have launched a device that combines a sensor coupled with an RFID/ NFC tag for authentication and consumer engagement. WestRock has introduced connected packaging for smart products combining Digimarc’s enabled barcode technology with Evrythng’s IoT smart products platform. This last example has brought embedded, real time, connected digital intelligence to billons of WestRock packages, in-store signs and displays produced annually.

May 8th, 2018

RFID and the Returns Epidemic: Item Level RFID Could be the Answer to Faster, Simpler Returns

Originally posted in Independent Retailer

Whether in Europe, the Americas or Asia, the retail industry is currently facing an epidemic. In the past, commentators weighed in on trends such as ‘the death of the highstreet,’ how to obtain and retain brand loyalty and how to improve customer experience. However, whilst the industry was debating these issues, another challenge began emerging. A challenge that could be costing retailers significant profits – the returns epidemic.

According to an article by CNN, US consumers return around $380 billion worth of goods each year and $90 billion of which will be processed during the festive season. On average, only half of returned items find their way back to the shelf and around $5 billion worth of items will end up in landfills.

May 6th, 2018

Sportswear Retailers Gain Home Run With RFID

Originally posted on RFID

Lids and Stadium AB are among the sports-related retailers that have benefitted from using radio frequency identification technology to manage fast-moving inventory that must keep up with sports equipment and seasonal trends. Lids conducted an RFID project to determine whether it could better manage its merchandise following the World Series in the winning city (Houston), while Stadium AB, located in Sweden, carried out an RFID pilot to manage fast rotations of products ranging from kayaks to apparel to shoe laces.

The two companies spoke about their projects with Dean Frew, the CTO and senior VP of RFID solutions at SML—the company that provided them with the RFID tag and software technology—at last month’s RFID Journal LIVE! 2018 conference an exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.


April 6th, 2018

Retailers Discuss the Benefits of RFID

Originally published on

RFID Journal announced today that key leaders from the retail industry will discuss the benefits they are achieving from using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, at this year’s RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, which will be held next week at the Orange County Convention Center, located in Orlando, Fla. The session will provide an opportunity for retailers and brand owners to hear first-hand about the most important deployments in these sectors, and to find the solutions that meet their business needs.

The panelists include Greg Czerpak, the senior VP of merchandising at Lids, which ran an RFID project in conjunction with the World Series; Johan Stenström, a supply chain technologist at Stadium AB, which is currently running a successful RFID pilot; and Danielle Dawson, the former head of Tesco F&F’s RFID project and the current head of Capgemini’s connected retail initiative. (more…)