The Association of Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), the technology standards division of the National Retail Federation (NRF) has joined an initiative hoping to develop a set of product lifecycle management standards for private label and branded goods.

Set up earlier this year by TradeStone Software, the PLM for Retail Standards Committee has already had input from leading retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Pacific Sunwear, Macy’s and Kohl’s.

It has now also set up a Product Specification Committee to develop these standards within the framework of ARTS, which is committed to developing true open systems that are cost-effective and require minimal interfacing.

“Urban Outfitters already uses ARTS standards for several of our internal systems, therefore this is a natural extension for us that will fit in well with the work we are doing with TradeStone’s merchandise lifecycle management solutions,” said Mike Sparks, director of supply chain systems, Urban Outfitters.

Meetings are initially focusing on product quality and testing and product construction including colours, materials and components.

But future discussions will cover labelling, packaging and handling, merchandise calendars and merchandise hierarchy.