Companies Form Commercial Partnership to Bring High-value Loss Prevention Solution to Leading Global Fashion Brands
Thin Film Electronics ASA ("Thinfilm") (OSE: THIN.OL), a leader in the development of printed electronics technology and products, and Nedap Retail, a leading developer and supplier of innovative solutions for the retail market, announced today that they will partner to supply global fashion brands with a high-value loss prevention system that will go to market under Nedap's !FaST brand.
"We're very pleased to announce our relationship with Nedap," said Davor Sutija, chief executive officer of Thinfilm. "As a pioneer in retail loss prevention and an innovation leader in retail, Nedap is a valuable partner with global reach and established relationships. Our EAS labels are particularly suitable for the retail fashion industry and will be used to enhance the loss prevention practices of top global fashion brands. We are excited to deliver the !FaST solution in collaboration with Nedap Retail."
The Thinfilm printed electronics used in the Nedap !FaST labels utilize the advantages of a proprietary printed electronics process to improve traditional EAS technology, introducing a new category of anti-theft tags that do not reactivate. These labels can be invisibly embedded into clothing, shoes, handbags, and other products, and are fully compatible with a global base of installed 8.2MHz RF EAS infrastructure that currently supports over 5 billion EAS labels per year.
Traditional 8.2MHz EAS labels have generally been rejected for direct integration into garments, footwear, and other items due to unwanted reactivation – also known as the "Lazarus Effect." Reactivation causes false alarms at entry and exit antennas and simultaneously embarrasses and frustrates customers while dulling employee response to legitimate alarms. Such fashion product categories are either 1) protected with hard-tag technology, which makes them difficult for consumers to try on, 2) left unprotected, making them easier targets for theft, or 3) stored away from customer access, causing lost sales.
"To effectively enhance our capabilities in the loss prevention arena, Nedap is constantly searching for best-in-class solutions for our clients," said Rob Schuurman, director and general manager of Nedap Retail. "Thinfilm's printed electronics technology allows for permanent deactivation so RF labels can easily be incorporated into retail items, which offers unique advantages and distinguishes it from the competition. Our mission at Nedap, ultimately, is to protect the profits of our clients while enhancing the shopping experience of their customers. Thinfilm's EAS labels help us do just that."
Hard tags are a common alternative to integrated source tags, but are typically expensive, bulky, and visually distracting. Furthermore, they usually require costly hours of in-store employee labor to apply, and remove. Hard tags can also damage merchandise if applied or removed incorrectly and often limit a prospective buyer's interaction and/or access to merchandise. Customer experience and satisfaction is significantly impaired as more reliance upon in-store personnel increases, thereby putting customer loyalty and retailer/brand image at stake.
The Thinfilm EAS label is based on technology acquired from Kovio, Inc., in January. According to Sutija, "The establishment of the go-to-market partnership with Nedap and the initiation of commercial production signals to the industry and to our shareholders that Thinfilm's acquisition of the Kovio technology earlier this year was a prudent transaction that will help drive the company's overall success, both now and in the future."