Clothes sold at Benetton will soon contain microchip transmitters that allow the Italian retailer to track its garments from their point of manufacture to the moment they are sold in any of its shops.

Benetton’s introduction of “smart tag” tracking technology will be the largest example of a trend now emerging in the retail industry.

Benetton’s Sisley line of clothing will contain a Philips Electronics radio frequency ID tag that will replace bar codes, which have to be manually scanned.

An RFID tag communicates its location to Benetton’s computerised supply chain network, allowing the retailer to learn stock levels at a glance and make restocking decisions quickly – even automatically, said Terry Phipps, Benetton’s electronic data processing director.
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