RFID in Retail is Making More Noise

Posted by Ken Lynch on Fri, Oct 07, 2011 @ 02:59 PM

Beyond the Right product, at the right place, at the right time...

music retail rfidRFID in retail
has demonstrated major business benefits in the way of streamlining the supply chain, which leads to reduced costs and enhancing the customer experience - resulting in increased and recurring sales. All good for a thriving business, which is probably why Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have recently taken a stronger stance on their RFID deployment plans.

Last week it was reported that Macy’s is embarking on a widespread adoption of RFID. This is very exciting to those of us who have been supporters (and developers) of RFID since its infancy. Macy's will be one of the first retailers to implement RFID on a broad scale. Next year, the company plans to be using RFID in all U.S. stores to track items that are regularly stocked and automatically resupplied as they are sold to customers. These “replenishment goods,” which include men's furnishings, intimate apparel, men's pants, denim and women's shoes, make up about 30 percent of its sales. One can deduce that Macy’s expects that number to grow based on its investment in RFID. 

According to Tom Cole, Macy’ chief administrative officer, the goal of the project is to help them ensure they have the right product, in the right place, at the right time for their shoppers. It would seem like a simple notion, but there are many variables in retail that make that a difficult task.  But, RFID can replace some of those pesky variables with the desired constant.

From the Supply Chain to the Fitting Room

RFID is improving the retail experience outside of supply chain enhancements as well.  Recently, ThingMagic UHF RFID readers were featured in a Musical Fitting Room video to show the powerful combination of music, fashion and RFID. It’s a great concept. The idea is to appeal to the individual shopper by playing music that resonates with them, then sending them an SMS with the name of the song and a link to download it for free on StarHub.com. 

To make this work, the clothing items have RFID tags applied to them that, when brought into the dressing room, trigger a song that matches the ‘mood’ of the clothes. The project coveres 16 genres and more than 10,000 songs to encompass all ages and types of shoppers.

With RFID, retailers can count and track item-level inventory much easier, faster and accurately. A very important part of the equation solved. Once you have that part of the equation, you can arrive at “right product, right place, right time” answer. And who doesn’t like getting the right answer all of the time?  Now, with a soundtrack to boot!

Tags: RFID, Retail, Supply Chain, Apparel

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