Nedap Retail, in partnership with Kovio, Inc., has unveiled a new category of Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags for the retail and fashion industry that can be invisibly embedded into clothing, shoes and other products, and can be deactivated permanently at point of sale (POS).
!FaST, an "invisible" EAS solution, secures products, such as clothing and shoes, with anti-theft tags that are completely invisible and undetected by consumers, redefining the consumer experience and overall brand interaction within the retail industry. Unlike traditional EAS labels, after having been deactivated, !FaST will not reactivate due to the wearing or cleaning of garments or wearing of shoes. As a result, consumers will no longer face the embarrassment of triggering the anti-theft alarm systems of retail stores long after a product has been purchased. In addition, because !FaST is embedded into the lining of the clothing or the shoe upon manufacturing, it eliminates the need for bulky plastic "hard tags" that limit a consumer's ability to properly try on clothing or shoes, and that often damage the product when it is removed from the retail item. !FaST preserves the aesthetic visual impression of branded products that traditional hard tags impact negatively.
"!FaST is a technological breakthrough in the retail industry that allows for the true integration of EAS with the garment or shoe without the risk of consumer manipulation, while still having the benefits of applying it at the manufacturing level," said Rob Schuurman, Director and General Manager at Nedap Retail. "With !FaST, consumers do not notice products that are secured, thus leading to a better overall shopping experience, and at the same time lowering shrinkage. This exciting integration gives retailers access to a powerful solution that will increase customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and buyer confidence."
Due to the risk of reactivation of integrated labels during consumer use, many shoe retailers have typically chosen not to deploy integrated EAS source tagging. In addition, to avoid theft, many retailers only display one shoe on the sales floor, requiring staff to leave the store floor to retrieve the second shoe in the backroom, while customers wait. As an alternative, retailers have punched hard tags through the leather of the shoe, restricting the ability of the consumer to assess the fit of the shoe, and causing permanent damage to the item. !FaST is the first solution that truly allows shoe retailers to embed fail-safe EAS technology into the sole of the shoe, allowing them to place both shoes safely on the showroom floor and providing consumers with a more comfortable shopping experience.
"We are proud that Kovio's unique printed silicon electronics technology is enabling Nedap Retail to create an entirely new class of EAS tags for applications in shoes and apparel," said Amir Mashkoori, Chief Executive Officer of Kovio. "The launch of this breakthrough EAS product demonstrates the significant potential for Kovio's printed silicon electronics platform technology in the retail industry."
EAS source tagging in the fashion and retail sectors offers many operational and cost advantages. By moving EAS tagging back into the supply chain, to the garment or shoe manufacturer level, retailers are able to eliminate the labor intensive application of hard tags in-store. In addition, !FaST technology is compatible with existing legacy 8.2MHz EAS detection and deactivation systems, which are used worldwide by a majority of retailers. This precludes the need for many retailers to change EAS technology, thereby substantially improving the ROI for retailers and brands.
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