US department store group Macy’s and sportswear brand LuluLemon outlined the benefits of embedding RFID tags in products at the NRF conference.
The two retailers are at different stages of trials of the technology, which helps them to keep track of stock and improve inventory accuracy.
Macy’s has been using RFID for several categories for the past four years and Pam Sweeney, senior vice-president for logistics systems at Macy’s, said it has boosted sales wherever it is rolled out because it enables the retailer to ensure every last unit of stock is sold.
“It allows us to feel confident to be able to fulfil orders in the omnichannel space,” she said. “It gives us the ability to send a product from one store to another, for example.
“This kind of service depends on you having confidence that your product is definitely in the originating destination. Otherwise you’re not exposing your last unit [of stock]. You’re probably not exposing that to any customer than the walk in customer.”
Joe Granato, director of operations at Lululemon Athletica, said RFID is helping store staff find specific products for shoppers. “Guests come in looking for very specific products. RFID will support us in eliminating pain points we have today and being able to find the exact product.”
He added: “We had been excited about RFID for long time, and the trial came out of a cross-functional partnership between IT and retail operations. It’s easy for naysayers to say it’s complex but until you play with it and learn from it that’s where the value comes from.” The retailer has RFID in 13 stores so far and Granato says the retailer continues to learn from the trial.
“It required people to be exposed to it so they could discover for themselves the value within their own expertise in the business. They needed to have their own ‘aha’ moment and see it could solve something for them.”
Also at the conference, Uggs showed off how it is testing RFID to show customers information about its products.
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NRF: Macy's and Lululemon outline the benefits of RFID tagging