Sprockhövel, Germany - Avery Dennison's Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) group today opened its first Europe-based Customer Design and Innovation Center and introduced enhanced capabilities for the apparel industry in design, high definition graphic embellishments, sustainable packaging, and RFID-enabled inventory and loss prevention solutions.
The new center incorporates into one location a state-of-the-art design workshop and a simulated global supply chain, where leading apparel retailers, brands and manufacturers can create custom solutions - from inception to the retail sales floor. Complete with its own demonstration apparel brand, UNITI(TM), the center will primarily serve Avery Dennison's European customers in the global apparel and footwear industry.
"This center gives Avery Dennison a strong platform to partner with customers and help them elevate their brands at retail and accelerate performance at all points along the complex global supply chain,'' said Shawn Neville, group vice president of RBIS. "In the fast-paced, ever-changing global apparel market, speed, flexibility, creativity, and collaboration are keys to success, and the primary goal of our center is to support leading apparel retailers and brands.''
Avery Dennison RBIS, which generated $1.5 billion in net sales in 2010, is the global leader in apparel and footwear labeling, packaging, price ticketing, brand protection and RFID-enabled inventory solutions. At today's center opening - signaled by the wave of a handheld scanner across an RFID-enabled ribbon - the company also introduced new offerings designed to leverage Avery Dennison's leadership and investments in material science, high-speed digital printing and information technology.
High-definition graphic embellishments
Expanding what's possible on the exterior of the garment, the company unveiled its breakthrough high-definition graphics transfer process, which can produce engaging graphics with exceptional depth, special effects and texture, and deliver them with globally consistent quality.
"The high-definition, soft-touch graphics made possible by this technology, no matter where in the world they are produced, are nothing short of game-changing,'' said Deon Stander, vice president and general manager of global commercial RBIS. "We're getting enthusiastic feedback from customers who have seen what's possible with this technology across the apparel landscape - from sports performance to high fashion."
The market for exterior garment graphic embellishments is very fragmented, and while designers have traditionally used screen printing to embellish garments, the technology offers limited image resolution and can be slow and labor-intensive. Stander said Avery Dennison's high-definition transfer process expands the global graphics offerings from RBIS, leverages its core labeling business expertise and answers a need for improved solutions in embellishments outside the garment.
Enabling more sustainable packaging
As sustainability becomes a core brand attribute across the retail apparel industry, Avery Dennison is also providing new sustainable packaging solutions for apparel, footwear and accessories. To complement its portfolio of more sustainable packaging materials, the company announced today the launch of Avery Dennison(TM) Greenprint, a blueprint for retail apparel customers to better understand the environmental consequences of their branding and packaging materials decision-making.
The diagnostic tool, which is based on Life Cycle Analysis methodology, translates complex data into a user-friendly snapshot of six impact categories, including greenhouse gases, energy usage and solid waste, and quantifies the benefits of switching to more sustainable materials.
"We are working with our partners to develop new packaging solutions that maximize consumer appeal and minimize impact on the earth,'' Neville said. "Through use of this new tool, in combination with our creative services and our strong offering of more sustainable materials, we are providing customers with more creative, cost-neutral options.''
For example, an Avery Dennison(TM) Greenprint assessment of socks and hosiery packaging revealed that converting from traditional polybags to a sustainable belly band solution uses materials that created 99 percent less solid waste and used 56 percent less energy and 23 percent less water. Avery Dennison has created a complete portfolio of sustainable packaging solutions, including Elastic Staple(TM) fasteners that can replace clamshell packaging and care labels woven with yarn from recycled water bottles.
Extending RFID-enabled solutions
Within its simulated global supply chain at the new center, Avery Dennison is also showcasing its RFID-enabled inventory productivity and loss-prevention solutions from manufacturing through to consumer purchase at retail. The use of RFID in the retail supply chain is a fast-growing solution due to the significant improvements in inventory productivity and operating efficiency that it makes possible.
"The use of RFID for inventory accuracy and loss prevention creates a new paradigm for retailers,'' Stander said. "We already know that with RFID, inventory accuracy improves from the 65-85 percent range to more than 95 percent and in some cases as high as 99 percent. Just as compelling is the fact that RFID speeds the cycle time of a store-level inventory by over 20 times. These two benefits are driving improved inventory productivity by an average of more than five percent, improving store labor productivity and the overall customer experience.''
Stander also noted the added benefit of RFID in reducing the impact of lost and stolen items. "It's a problem to have an item stolen, but it is even worse to lose a sale the next day to a disappointed consumer looking for the same item when you could have replenished it with the help of RFID,'' he said.
In opening the Customer Design and Innovation Center in Sprockhövel, Neville said Avery Dennison's customers now have two locations where they can experience in real time many of the company's enhanced capabilities. Avery Dennison opened its first global Customer Innovation Center in November 2010 in the United States in Ohio. It plans to open two to three additional Customer Design and Innovation Centers around the world in the next 18 months.
For more information about the new services and offerings from the Retail Branding and Information Solutions group, go to www.apparel.averydennison.com. Avery Dennison's Retail Branding and Information Solutions group is formerly known as Retail Information Services (RIS).