Following a successful four-week trial of UHF RFID tracking tags on clothing items at its High Wycombe store, Marks & Spencer has awarded Intellident a sole supplier contract.

The brief is to design, develop and supply RFID reading equipment and chip-based label inlays for subsequent conversion by main label contractor Paxar Europe.

The trial was undertaken to test the technology’s viability and to start to build a business case for RFID’s use in M&S’s general merchandising operations.

The EM Microelectronics tags were contained within throwaway paper ‘intelligent’ labels attached to, but not embedded in, men’s suits, shirts and ties.

Each held a number unique to each garment, with the information associated with the number, such as the size, style and colour, held on the retailer’s secure database. The tags had no power to emit a signal and only released their unique identification number in the presence of a Marks & Spencer scanner.

It is believed M&S plans further trials at several stores this year before deciding on any larger roll-out.