SML RFID Expands, Extends Plano HQ Lease, Opens New Retail Ideation Space

The ideation space allows retailers and brand owners to experience and test some of SML’s latest technologies and developments. 


With its new Retail Ideation Space now open, Plano-based SML RFID has extended and expanded its headquarters’ lease for retail innovation.

Growth was the major motivator behind the company’s office expansion at International Business Park on 6400 International Parkway, according to real estate services firm CBRE.

SML, a global apparel branding, packaging, and technology solutions company, employs more than 40 people at its Plano headquarters. It is more than doubling its lease of 8,260 square feet to 17,226 square feet. SML plans to increase its number of Plano employees over the next few years.

In June, SML opened a Retail Ideation Space (RIS) adjacent to its offices.

The Retail Ideation Space is a real-world technology collaboration facility designed to allow retailers and brand owners to experience and test some of SML’s latest technologies and developments. RFID, or radio-frequency identification, uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to retail merchandise and other objects.


SML’s Retail Ideation Space is a real-world environment for retailers to try out SML’s tech. [Photo: SML RFID]

Storefront showcases RFID technology

The retail storefront has roughly 3,000 merchandise items—each tagged with an SML Inspire tag—available to showcase the convergence of operations, inventory, and customer services in a real retail environment. The SML Inspire tags include woven labels, self-adhesive labels, and are RFID-enabled.

The space has an RFID-reading robot from Keonn Technologies, which can automatically gather tag reads outside of business hours. SML’s Clarity item-level RFID technology is also used in the space.

“Item-level RFID is foundational to the new era of retail, and with the accelerating market demands for RFID and other advanced technologies, the need for SML RIS was created,” Dean Frew, chief technology officer and senior vice president of RFID solutions for SML, said in a statement. “SML aims to show retail users how easy it is to deploy and use RFID for inventory management and new customer experiences, with less risk, but also achieve ROIs faster.”

The RIS in Plano is SML’s first in the U.S. with additional locations scheduled to open in Shanghai and London this year. SML operates seven R&D centers across the globe. 

International Business Park is owned and managed by Billingsley Co. in Dallas.

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