Radio frequency identification (RFID) is catching on with apparel retailers as a way to better manage inventory and improve their ability to have the right product at the right place at the right time - and an event taking place next week offers firms a new insight into the technology.

Among the industry's high profile users is Walmart, which has announced it is using RFID to track men's jeans, undershirts, underwear and socks - some 250m items annually - and it will likely expand to other clothing items soon. Macy's, the department store chain with $27bn in annual revenue, recently announced it is planning to track many clothing items by the third quarter of next year.

In Europe, several retail chains have already begun deploying RFID technology, including Marks & Spencer, s.Oliver (Germany), Charles Vogele (Switzerland), Staff Jeans (Greece), and Boboli (Spain).

One of the leaders in deploying RFID technology in Europe is Gerry Weber International AG, a German chain which is sewing RFID tags into its product-care labels so clothing items can be tracked from factories to multiple warehouses and on to 200 stores.

The firm is applying EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to the 25m garments it produces annually. The application is designed to improve the efficiency of its incoming goods and inventory processes, and to function as an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system.

At RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2011, Christian von Grone, CIO at Gerry Weber, will discuss candidly how the company is using RFID to reduce theft and boost efficiencies.

The conference and exhibition will be held on 18-19 October at the Dorint Hotel, located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Now in its 7th year, the event will also feature real-world case studies revealing the business benefits of RFID technology, presented by speakers from leading end-user companies.

Justin Patton, managing director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, will also present the Phase I results of a comprehensive field study on the use cases of RFID for retail manufacturers and brand-owner operations. This phase of the research was designed to identify potential use cases for the use of the technology in an apparel supply chain.

Attendees will also get an advance preview of Phase II, which will involve the measurement of return on investment (ROI) for select use cases identified in Phase I. The search for business value in supplier operations has narrowed, and this session's presenter will share the results of data collected from multiple large-scale retail manufacturers within their own facilities

At RFID Journal LIVE! Europe, attendees can hear the most effective strategies for putting RFID to work. For more information, please visit the RFID Journal LIVE! Europe Web site, or click here to contact Attendee Registration. You can see the whole agenda at this link.