Apparel & footwear


Pressing issues facing modern retail include speed-to-market,  demands in item variety, product flow rate, product seasonality and inventory accuracy. With the emergence of omni-channel retailing, the apparel & footwear industry is especially challenged to maintain effective inventory management. In response to these market conditions, an increasing number of companies in the industry have turned to RFID item-level tagging (ILT) based on Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards, to effectively enable supply chain visibility, in-store inventory management and consumer journey analytics.

Since 2011, GS1 Hong Kong has launched an RFID ILT Supplier Support Programme to provide apparel suppliers from Hong Kong and China with the expertise and tools they need to comply with EPC standards from source to store, in order to meet the latest global industry requirements.

GS1 Hong Kong has been working closely with industry players toprovide faster delivery, better customer services and minimize out-of-stock situations and markdowns, all of which will help them to meet consumers' expectations and realize higher profitability.

By applying GS1 global standards and GS1 Hong Kong solutions, we can help to:

  • Bridge suppliers' and buyers' requirements by providingstandard implementation guidelines and enablement training in the deployment of item-level RFID tagging, from EPC coding, serialisation to tag verification and placement
  • Provide suppliers a list of ILT certified vendors to source RFID tags, readers and other related solutions
  • Increase supply chain visibility and proof of delivery to enhance inventory accuracy 
  • Empower retailers to leverage the item-level RFID tagged items to enable real-time consumer journey analytics

Business case sharing

More and more companies from the global apparel industry have turned to RFID Item Level Tagging (ILT), based on Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards, to increase the visibility of their products. But in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, many apparel suppliers are still new to the emerging industry standard and technology. In light of this, C&A has to familiarize about 600 manufacturers with this new development. This calls for standardized, impartial RFID training to be provided to them.

GS1 Hong Kong was appointed as Program Manager in Asia Pacific Region to support the training for C & A’s suppliers in the Asian region. A total of three supplier training sessions were conducted on behalf of the client in Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Shanghai. The training benefited about 80 representatives of C&A and its suppliers, equipping them with the fundamental knowledge about EPC, RFID and specific tagging requirements. 

“The trainings have been well received by our suppliers. We are glad to partner with GS1 Hong Kong and the program has provided an ideal platform to spread knowledge of RFID and global standards to those manufacturers who have never been in touch with GS1 standards,” said Joachim Wilkens, Head of Supply Chain Development, C&A Buying GmbH & Co. KG.

Starting from 2012, C&A has implemented an ILT pilot program to facilitate item-level tagging of its products. In 2014, this program has been extended to 100 stores in Germany, with about 23 million pieces of garment items tagged at source.

Source: Annual Report 2014, GS1 Hong Kong

Concertina Set

Since 2011, an increasing number of US and European retailers and apparel brands have announced their implementation plans for EPC-enabled RFID Item Level Tagging (ILT). Staying attuned to the RFID ILT trend, Li & Fung Trading has been committed to helping its suppliers to enhance their capabilities in complying with the EPC standard and attaining a higher level of supply chain visibility. 

Partnering with GS1 Hong Kong, the organization introduced a Vendor RFID Training Program in 2013, which comprised of a basic EPC & ILT training session for suppliers on serialization management and tag verification, combined with the provision of certified pool of vendors for their reference implementation. The relevant trainings were provided to more than 80 suppliers and merchandisers across 12 Asian countries, including China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam in 2013.

“As a very important strategic partner of Li & Fung Trading, GS1 Hong Kong has provided a very professional educational program in educating our vendors on how to properly implementing RFID ILT at source that bring great values,” said Mr. Robert Burton, Executive Vice President, Vendor Support Services.

Source: Annual Report 2014, GS1 Hong Kong

Concertina Set

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