Intelligent Label RFID tag trial
Marble Arch store, Oxford Street, London, November 2004.
Apparently there are six Marks & Spencer stores participating in this latest RFID tag trial until December 2004. This press release from March 2004 implies that that the six stores are probably Aylesbury, Camberley, Ealing Broadway, High Wycombe, Kingston and Marble Arch
Compared with the original trial in 2003 at High Wycombe, the tags seem be restricted to suits and jackets only, with no tags on ties or inside shirt wrappings
These Intelligent Labels seem to be the same sort as before, except that the printing has been simplified. The back of the label is now just plain white, instead of having a glossy white sticker with just the Marks & Spencer copyright information , HQ address, website URL, "ying/yang" arrow symbol and printing reference codes, all of which information now appears at the bottom of the face of the label.
"MARKS & SPENCER" still appears at the top of the label.
The "circuit board" graphic and "INTELLIGENT LABEL TM" has been replaced by the simpler "INTELLIGENT LABEL TM FOR STOCK CONTROL" in the centre of the label. This could be due to confusion with the other labels on some of the menswear which in the High Wycombe trial was labelled as allegedly "intelligent fabric" or the Marble Arch one as "urban wear" fabric, which "breathes" moisture and does not need ironing etc.
The words "Please retain this label for refund and exchange" have now disappeared from the label.
Otherwise, the Marble Arch trial environment seemed to be similar to the High Wycombe one, with absolutely no notices, displays or leaflets informing the Customers that they were taking part in an experimental trial of any sort.
There is no RFID scanning equipment at the payment till counter, and therefore no "killing" of the RFID tag once the individual garment has been purchased. We noticed Staff and Customers blissfully unaware that the newly purchased clothing being wrapped up in a plastic suit bag still had its RFID tag label attached.
Approximately one or two RFID tags per rack seemed to be sticking up, presumably due to Customers' handling of the garments. Several of these tags were bent or folded, which may be significant in causing a few of these paper labels to fail to be read by the scanner. Higher frequency, longer range, more compact tags would probably reduce this potential problem.Some photos of the Marks & Spencer, Marble Arch trial RFID tags: