As small merchants race to grow retail sales, many are finding RFID’s ability to streamline critical processes is blue ribbon worthy.


Uptown Cycles is an independent retailer of high performance cycling equipment located in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Uptown Cycles sought to harness the power of item-level RFID tagging to increase inventory accuracy, reduce out-of-stocks, enhance the customer experience and improve store security.


  • Uptown Cycles has deployed an RFID-enabled inventory management system from SMARTRAC, Freedom Shopping and Zebra Technologies at its Charlotte store. The company implemented 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 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 paper-faced Web™ and ShortDipole™ UHF RFID tags.


  • 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.
  • 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.