Inventory management system designed by UPM Raflatac, Freedom Shopping and Zebra Technologies brings RFID’s capabilities to Uptown Cycles

(UPM Raflatac, Fletcher, December 29, 2009) – Uptown Cycles, an independent retailer of high performance cycling equipment, has deployed an RFID-enabled inventory management system from UPM Raflatac, Freedom Shopping and Zebra Technologies at its store in Charlotte, North Carolina. The FLiP system, designed by Freedom Shopping, integrates seamlessly into Uptown Cycles’ POS system, enabling the merchant to harness the power of item-level RFID tagging for electronic article surveillance (EAS) in order to increase inventory accuracy, reduce out-of-stocks, enhance customer experience and improve store security.

Uptown Cycles deployed the FLiP system in one week with no disruption to its normal operating processes. Using Freedom Shopping’s IntelliSuite Developer’s Tools, merchants and their integration partners can integrate RFID into existing POS systems quickly and easily, for as little as $2,500 per software license per store. The tools leverage stores’ existing item masters and inventory database, eliminating the potential for human error and process disruption due to redundant data, while enabling retailers of all sizes to benefit from RFID’s ability to drive critical process improvements.

The FLiP system includes fixed and handheld RFID scanners, a software bridge that syncs the RFID tag database with the POS system, a self-service payment kiosk and an RFID-powered intelligent EAS system. To tag existing inventory or receive new shipments, employees use RFID handhelds to scan product bar codes; the system identifies goods in the POS system, queries for item quantities and wirelessly sends information to a Zebra Technologies’ RZ400 printer. The printer generates a master sales tag, which includes an item description, bar code and encoded RFID tag.

Merchandise, including bicycles, apparel, safety gear, accessories and food, is tagged with UPM Raflatac Web and ShortDipole UHF RFID tags. Item-level RFID streamlines the checkout process, enabling customers to use the self-service kiosk to check out independently or have a clerk scan all goods for payment simultaneously. Purchased items’ tag data is flagged in the system during the payment process, eliminating false alarms traditionally associated with non-intelligent EAS systems. As a consequence, employees are able to instantly identify and prevent real instances of pending theft. The new solution allows retail staff to spend more time with customers and focus on sales.

“The RFID system designed by Freedom Shopping, UPM Raflatac and Zebra Technologies helped Uptown Cycles improve operational and customer-facing processes, while reducing shrinkage and theft,” says Chris Sheehan, Co-owner and Manager, Uptown Cycles. “We are using RFID data to remove cost and waste from our processes, just like global retailers, which is translating to higher productivity and increased revenue for our store.”

For further information, please contact:

Mr Jan Svoboda, Sales and Marketing Director, Americas, RFID, UPM Raflatac
Tel. +1 805 312 4679

Mr Rob Simmons, Marketing Director, Freedom Shopping
Tel. +1 828 994 0206, ext. 1001

Ms Carolyn M. Ricci, Senior Product Manager, RFID, Zebra Technologies Corporation
Tel. + 1 847 793 5523

Mr Chris Sheehan, Co-owner and Manager, Uptown Cycles
Tel. + 1 704 632 7440


About UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac, part of UPM's Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials and the world’s number one producer of HF and UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and inlays. UPM Raflatac has a global service network consisting of 14 factories on five continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals worldwide. UPM Raflatac employs 2,600 people and made sales of approximately USD 1.4 billion (EUR 1 billion) in 2008. Further information is available at www.upmrfid.com.

About Freedom Shopping
Freedom Shopping, Inc. is the recognized leader in developing RFID-enabled point-of-sale, security, and self-service solutions for the retail market. The company’s systems help companies, ranging from independent retailers to global merchants, use RFID technology to streamline operational and customer-facing processes, achieving quantifiable gains that translate into higher revenues and healthier margins. The company’s latest release, the IntelliSuite Developer’s Tools, enables retailers and their integration partners to deploy an RFID-powered intelligent EAS system that integrates easily and cost-effectively with existing POS systems. Freedom Shopping has been an RFID innovator since 2005, when its customers used its technology to open the nation’s first 100-percent item-level-tagged stores. For more information, please visit http://www.freedomshopping.com/.

About Zebra Technologies Corporation
Zebra Technologies Corporation improves customers’ business performance through products and solutions that identify, track and manage assets, transactions and people. In more than 100 countries around the world, more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use innovative and reliable Zebra printers, supplies, RFID products and software to increase productivity, improve quality, lower costs, and deliver better customer service. Information about Zebra and Zebra-brand products can be found at www.zebra.com.

About Uptown Cycles
Uptown Cycles, located in Charlotte, NC, is a premier regional bicycle retailer and training center carrying Giant, Canondale, Blue, and Electra bicycles and a wide range of accessories and apparel. In addition, Uptown Cycles provides a full-time, experienced coaching, sales, and mechanics staff on site, offering cycling enthusiasts and athletes the hands-on training and guidance they need to increase their enjoyment of – and expertise with – the sport. The store is conveniently located in downtown Charlotte near the Panthers stadium. For more information, please visit www.uptowncyclescharlotte.com.