Mitsukoshi, Ltd., Shiseido Company, Ltd, and Fujitsu Limited today announced that as part of a project sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, the companies will jointly implement a "futuristic department store" field trial in Japan from January 26 to February 12 to test the expanded use of RFID tags in department stores. For the first time in Japan, RFID tags will be used in a field trial for cosmetics. The field trial is part of a METI-sponsored project commissioned to the Japan Department Stores Association, known as the 2007 Field Trial for Improving Distribution and Logistics Efficiency through the Use of Electronic Tags.
RFID tags have been used in the past at department stores in Japan for inventory control of women's shoes and apparel, but this test is the first time such tags will be affixed to cosmetics.
The field trial will be held at Shiseido counters on the first floor of the Ginza (Tokyo) flagship store, and Sakae (Nagoya) branch of Mitsukoshi department store, a major department store in Japan. RFID tags will be affixed to Shiseido's Clé de Peau Beauté products (a prestige brand), product testers and some samples. A multi-sample display trial will enable customers to view detailed product information on a touch-screen terminal by waving a tagged product over a RFID tag reader. Other trials will be conducted for such aspects as customer consultation, product assortment, and distribution, with the purpose to evaluate the efficiency in using RFID tags in supply chain management of cosmetics, the impact on increasing purchase intent when the customers themselves handle products with RFID tags, and effect on purchasing related products.
Overview of the field trial
Mitsukoshi Ginza (Tokyo) flagship store: January 26 to February 11, 2007
Mitsukoshi Sakae (Nagoya) branch: January 30 to February 12, 2007
Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté counters on the first floor of Mitsukoshi department store's Ginza (Tokyo) flagship store, and the Shiseido counter of the Sakae (Nagoya) branch.
Field trial details
The following five aspects will be tested as part of the "futuristic department store" trial of the Field Trial for Improving Distribution and Logistics Efficiency through the Use of Electronic Tags, sponsored by METI.
1. Multi-sample display (skincare products)
Seven types of product testers for skincare (lotions, serums, etc.) will be affixed with RFID tags. Customers can wave the tagged products over an electronic tag reader to view detailed product information on a touch-screen terminal. (Site: Shiseido counter)
2. Tester demand forecasting system (makeup products)
Tester stands (receptacles for holding the tester containers) for makeup products (lipsticks, mascaras, etc.) will be embedded with RFID tag readers, so that the number of times that customers sample each tagged makeup tester (49 items) can be counted. This will make it possible to accumulate informative marketing data, such as by ranking which products customers showed most interest in. (Site: Shiseido counter)
Cosmetics counter sales staff will have tablet PCs to view a customer's counseling and purchasing history. The tablet PCs will be equipped with tag readers, which can be used to register product purchases (10 items) and sample distributions (7 types of samples) for a customer by waving the products over the tablet PC, thereby updating the customer's history. 50 customers will be included in this trial. (Site: Clé de Peau Beauté counter)
4. Source tagging/SCM system
Shiseido will affix RFID tags to products (10 items) at its stock center, to be used for packing-list checking and in-store inventory. (Sites: Shiseido Stock Center in Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo, and Clé de Peau Beauté)
5. RFID tags @ home
As it is anticipated that in the future in some instances some customers may wish to take home products with RFID tags attached to view detailed product information at their leisure while at home, home uses for RFID tags will also be tested. In the test, virtual home environments equipped with PCs and tag readers will be set up in the stores and 50 customers will gather product information from tagged samples. (Site: In-store virtual home environment)
The following two supportive trials will also be held during the field trial period:
A. Cosmetic information
"Cosmetic Information" terminals with touch-screen displays and RFID tag readers will be installed. Customers will be able to view word-of-mouth information about the products (12 products at the Ginza store, 23 products at the Sakae store) from other customers, by waving tagged testers over the tag readers.
*As the purpose of this trial is to create the impression of an “electronic concierge” that offers information on the entire cosmetics floor, for this test only, RFID tags will be affixed on products from other companies besides Shiseido's Clé de Peau Beauté line.(Site: Near the entrance of the cosmetics floor)
B. Virtual Real-Time Makeup System
A kiosk with a camera, display, and RFID tag reader will be installed that will enable customers to view on the display how particular products would look on their face ("virtual real-time makeup") by waving tagged cosmetic products such as lipsticks or eyeshadows (19 items) over the tag reader. (Site: Shiseido counter)
*Mitsukoshi's Sakae store will participate in the aforementioned trials "1", "5", and “A“only.
Anticipated effect of the field trial:
• Provide more detailed product information to customers and enhance customer service to increase customer satisfaction, and promote sales and purchase of related products
• Improve efficiency of inventory control and increase productivity by using retail space effectively
• Reinforce product line through deeper analysis of products
• Raise consumer awareness of RFID tags
Corporations participating in or supporting the field trial:
Overall coordinator of field trial.
Shiseido Company, Ltd.:
Provides Clé de Peau Beauté products, testers, samples and trial sites for aforementioned trials "1" through "5". Also provides the Virtual Real-Time Makeup System in aforementioned trial "B".
Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Shikoku Systems Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories, Ltd., and PFU Limited:
Developed the system and provides devices for the aforementioned aspects "1" through "5", provides "Cosmetic Information" touch-screen terminals, and conducts overall hypothesis testing for the field trial.
Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.:
Provides RFID tags for the entire field trial.
Central Engineering Co., Ltd.:
Provides RFID tag readers for aforementioned trial "2", Tester Demand Forecasting System.
i style Inc.:
Provides "Cosmetic Information" content in aforementioned supportive trial "A".
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Date: 24 January, 2007
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