Macy’s to RFID tag everything
Macy’s plans to expand its use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track every item in its stores and fulfillment centers by the end of next year. The move is expected to give the department store the visibility into its supply chain needed to fully deliver on the promise of a seamless omnichannel shopping experience for its customers.
“I don’t know how, in an omnichannel, data-driven … world, you can take data accuracy lightly,” Bill Connell, senior vice president of logistics and operations at Macy’s, told RFID Journal. “The customer base is increasingly demanding. ‘I want it. I want to know you have it. I want to tell you how I want you to get it to me. And I want to do that right now.’ If you don’t have that level of confidence in your data, you have a pretty big problem.”
The department store chain plans to reach full compliance by asking vendors to tag all the products shipped with passive RFID tags. Vendor resistance, which was more pronounced in 2010 when Macy’s began its RFID march in earnest, has largely gone away as costs associated with the technology have come down and results have been proven.
“You find this natural ability to expand and do additional things that have a big impact on sales and profitability,” Mr. Connell told attendees at RFID Journal’s second annual RFID in Retail and Apparel conference earlier this month. “And, I assure you, we track, through control testing and so forth, our performance in these categories quite consistently. We have been quite pleased with the results, both operationally and from a financial perspective.”
Sheldon Reich, vice president of solutions at CYBRA, called the results retailers are seeing from RFID implementation “mind-blowing” in an interview with IT Jungle.
“Once they have the goods tagged in the store, inventory accuracy goes from 63 percent to 95 percent. And by having that increase in the inventory accuracy, the out-of-stocks decline by up to 50 percent. By cutting the out-of-stocks, you increase item availability, and these retailers are seeing sales boosted from two percent to 20 percent because they’re comfortable picking to the last unit,” he said.
- Macy’s to RFID-tag 100 Percent of Items – RFID Journal
- A Conversation with Macy’s Bill Connell – RFID Journal
- Why RFID Is (Finally) Here To Stay – IT Jungle
- Is RFID finally ready for prime time at retail? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: In what ways does using RFID help retailers “expand and do additional things that have a big impact on sales and profitability,” as asserted by Macy’s Bill Connell? Is RFID technology the best tool available to retailers that want to gain the inventory visibility needed to execute on the promise of an omnichannel shopping experience?