FEBRUARY 2017 I RISNEWS.COM
RFID in the Field
• Macy’s has fully embraced the power of RFID,
announcing plans to have all products RFID-tagged at the source by the end of 2017.
• Rebecca Minkoff uses RFID to enhance and
personalize the shopping experience. In its
flagship New York City location the retailer has
installed RFID smart mirrors in the fitting rooms
that recognize the merchandise a shopper brings
into the room and recommends complementary
• Thanks to its 98% inventory accuracy at the
store level lululemon can provide online shoppers real-time visibility into the available
inventory of their local brick-and-mortar location
helping spur buy online, pick up in store sales.
New Advancements Make Ne
Inventory Accuracy A Reality
BY TIMOTHY DENMAN
As consumers continue to embrac ywhere
shopping, it is more important tha an accurate,
real-time accounting of available ailers need to
ensure that when they tell a custo s in stock, it
is, and it can be quickly located.
Thanks to major advancements ology, which
have greatly increased precision, w eously
reducing costs, retailers are quick 100% inventory accuracy. This new visibility in opening up
the door for a wide range of next-g el capabilities that retailers could only dream years ago.
RFID helps eliminate the distinc nline and in-store
stock, improves in-store security, a merchandise and more.
However, its greatest capability fo ains its ability to track
every SKU down to the item level a pinpoint location of
every in-stock item.
Despite the numerous benefits of the technology it has yet to be deployed throughout retail. In fact, just 6% of retailers describe their store
systems as up-to-date on item-level RFID technology, according to RIS
News, “Store Systems Retail Techscape.” While RFID has failed to gain
wide-scale adoption, retailers are taking a hard look at the technology
and investment is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2017, and by almost 8% in
the apparel segment.
Lululemon, for example, has fully deployed RFID across its North
American stores, and is now enjoying 98% store-level inventory accura-
cy which has helped the athletic wear retailer improve its omnichannel
operations. “The technology is a powerful new tool in creat-
ing seamless guest experiences across all channels and
has greatly enhanced our ability to access inventory
quickly across all channels and locations,” said CEO
While the use cases for the technology contin-
ue to grow by the day, much of the industry is still in
the dark about RFID. For example, little differentiation
is made between the technology that retailers are
using to track inventory and the NFC technology used
for mobile payment — both of which fall under the
The not-for-profit RAIN RFID Alliance is working to
bring awareness to the wireless tagging system and
highlight the distinction and capabilities of passive UHF
RFID (ideal for inventory tracking) compared to the other
forms of the technology. The association, consisting of
retailers and solution providers, is engaged in a multi-year
marketing campaign designed to rebrand passive UHF
RFID, RAIN RFID.
“I like to think that RFID 2.0 really is RAIN,” says Steve
Halliday, president of the RAIN RFID Alliance.
“This technology is growing very fast and
is the key to the Internet of Things. It is the
front end of the Io T and the mechanism that
is going to allow us to ID all of those everyday
objects. In 2016 the industry shipped 10 billion
RAIN chips into the marketplace. Our fore-
cast is for that number to increase tenfold to
100 billion by 2020.”
Whatever the nomenclature, RFID con-
tinues to change the retail game. By grant-
ing retailers real-time, near 100% accurate
inventory counts across the enterprise the
technology allows retailers to meet shop-
per demand wherever they choose to shop,
helping blur the distinction between physical
and digital retailing.