Mitsukoshi, one of the leading luxury department store chains in Japan, Shiseido Company, a leading Japanese cosmetics manufacturer, and Fujitsu Limited, a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions, are jointly implementing a "futuristic department store" field trial in Japan to test the expanded use of RFID tags in department stores.
The initiative, known as the ‘2007 Field Trial for Improving Distribution and Logistics Efficiency through the Use of Electronic Tags’, is part of a project sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan and was commissioned by the Japan Department Stores Association.
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 in Mitsukoshi department stores in the Ginza (Tokyo) flagship store and Sakae (Nagoya) branch. 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.
Trials will also be conducted for aspects such as customer consultation, product assortment and distribution. This will evaluate the efficiency of using RFID tags in supply chain management of cosmetics, the impact on increasing purchase intent when the customers handle products with RFID tags and effect on purchasing related products.
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 make-up products (lipsticks, mascaras, etc.) will be embedded with RFID tag readers, so that the number of times that customers sample each tagged make-up tester (49 items) can be counted. This will make it possible to accumulate informative marketing data 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 some customers will wish to take products home with RFID tags attached to view detailed product information at their leisure, 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)
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 Make-up 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 make-up") by waving tagged cosmetic products such as lipsticks or eye shadows (19 items) over the tag reader. (Site: Shiseido counter)
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.
i style Inc.:
Provides "Cosmetic Information" content in aforementioned supportive trial "A".
FIGURE 1: Multi-sample Display
FIGURE 2:Tester Demand Forecasting System
FIGURE 4:RFID tags@ home
Nikki Cope / Sally Lloyd
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