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Widespread adoption of RFID

Time:2016-01-19 20:11 Source:The Retail Bulletin Writer:admin Click:Times

Predominantly the domain of the clothing category, RFID is now increasingly being used across the whole of the retail industry as the financial and improved efficiency benefits it brings are now being fully acknowledged. By Glynn Davis in New York


At Retail's Big Show 2016 (organised by the National Retail Federation in the US) Su Doyle, North American Field Marketing at Checkpoint, suggested: "It started in apparel but is now flowing out to health & beauty and in grocery too. It's now being linked more to business cases and KPIs. We need to link it to business metrics otherwise retailers just see it as being too difficult and hard to implement."


She pointed out that some major grocers were now using RFID within the butchery area in order to better manage the expiration/sell-by-date of the products. In pilots within Europe and the US there was a 35% decrease in waste, a 50% reduction in labour costs, and a 7% increase in sales as items were more effectively cleared through promotions.


"The tags are printed in the store and we pre-load all the product data into the system. When the tags are created the item then goes into the inventory. It's all in real-time. The tags could just go on higher end cuts and not on, say chicken," says Doyle, who adds that the tags make it easier to recognise when products are missed through theft and the inventory can then be adjusted accordingly.


As well as the business case stacking up for RFIG tags on grocery items, she says it is also being made possible by a greater variety of tags now being manufactured. This flexibility of tag types has also made it possible for RFID technology to now be adopted within the health & beauty category.


Small tags that do not obscure the packaging are being deployed in the category, which is traditionally high margin so is suited to RFID in that the inventory can be better tracked - for both improving availability and managing shrinkage. Some tags also work with retailer's alarm systems.


Doyle also pointed out that greater RFID usage is making it easier for retailers to handle Click & Collect orders in-store, whereby goods need to be picked from the shelves, because hand-held devices with scanners attached enables the much quicker processing of these orders as the goods are easier to locate within the store.


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