An RFID Solution for DSW (Nedap)

Footwear retailer DSW is looking at the future—one that doesn’t include dual electronic article surveillance (EAS) technologies. EAS systems utilize one of two signal technologies: radio frequency (RF) or acousto-magnetic (AM). Having both RF and AM EAS systems in most stores, DSW was faced with the challenge of moving forward with only one solution. Its existing EAS systems proved to be one-dimensional, with their only function acting as traditional EAS. The company needed a security solution with not only traditional EAS functionality, but also the ability to provide stock-keeping data for sales optimization and analytics to assist with investigations, all while blending seamlessly into their stores’ polished warehouse design.

Focusing on the future, the DSW team initially started looking at RFID solely as a theft prevention solution—one that provided store personnel with real-time data. They began testing RFID on handbag tables that would alert store personnel of any grab-and-runs. Additionally, they used RFID to keep track of their in-store mobile devices, particularly their iPads. After several tests and research, however, they realized the true ROI would be in the absolute unit accuracy of their inventory. They were ready to upgrade to RFID technology for EAS.

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The Nedap Solution

Following a successful proposal process, which included a pilot phase, Nedap was selected to supply DSW with the sleek, aesthetically pleasing !D Top RFID overhead reader. Unlike traditional EAS systems that require pedestals to be mounted on the sales floor near each entrance and exit, the !D Top is mounted overhead, helping to maintain a vibrant, clean, and clutter-free sales floor. In addition to the aesthetics, the !D Top adds to each store’s appearance.

The !D Top was chosen for its intuitive and simple technology. The DSW team needed a solution on which store associates with varying technical knowledge could be easily trained. They wanted a solution that was easy to install and not too complex. They were particularly impressed with the fact that Nedap’s !D Top has PoE (Power over Ethernet) capability, meaning a power outlet does not have to be located anywhere near the installation point as is required by other EAS systems. PoE saves a tremendous amount of costs typically associated with installing power outlets within six to ten feet of traditional EAS equipment and needs no involvement from IT departments.

After the successful pilot, the DSW team decided on a complete chain-wide rollout of the !D Top with many installations already completed, and additional deployments in fifty to seventy stores per year.

“RFID was a new technology for us, so this was a high-profile project. We had dabbled in RFID with a few proofs of concept with other providers, but we had never rolled chain-wide like this before. We partnered with store construction, store operations, training and development, and other departments within DSW to make sure this project was a success,” said Matt Brooks, DSW’s senior manager of investigations.

About Nedap

Nedap has both the product and the people to help retailers be successful protecting their merchandise. With Nedap, it’s what’s now and what’s next. Visit nedap-retail.com to learn more.

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