Jones Apparel Group Inc is to pilot item-level Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in some of its Nine West stores to study its impact on productivity, customer service and inventory accuracy.

"We are always looking for new ways to raise the bar and deliver outstanding customer service," said Sergio Prosperino, senior vice president, store operations at Nine West.

"We are intrigued by the prospect of enhanced inventory visibility, and we think this can be of real value to our customers and store associates."

The technology, which includes RFID software, fixed and hand-held readers and antennas, tags and printers, is being supplied by Avery Dennison, inCode Wireless, Motorola, RFID Sherpas LLC and Vue Technology.

"We are eager to begin this test to explore the benefits that RFID can provide in our retail footwear locations," said Norm Veit, executive vice president, MIS at Jones.

"RFID has interested us for some time, and we believe it has reached the point where launching a pilot program of this nature makes sense."