With hundreds to thousands of colors and styles of shoes in inventory, retail department stores often have difficulties displaying every shoe sample on the sales floor. Sales associates can spend hours manually counting shoes to determine which samples are missing from the display. Meanwhile retailers are losing sales opportunities when customers can’t see the styles that are not represented on the selling floor. Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue have significantly increased the percentage of shoes on display and reduced manual labor since turning to RFID technology to track samples on the sales floor.
Lord & Taylor Increases Shoe Sales by 4% with RFID
Lord & Taylor’s business team projected millions of dollars in increased sales annually if each of the company’s 47 stores could ensure all shoe styles were on display. Knowing that manual shoe counts were inefficient, Lord & Taylor piloted an RFID system in 2011 to see if the technology could bring greater inventory accuracy and efficiency. After RFID tags were applied to shoes on the sales floor, sales associates simply passed a handheld RFID reader around the selling floor to interrogate the tags on the shoes to determine if the proper samples were on display. RFID readers do not require line of sight with the RFID tag which reduces labor associated with inventory counts by 90%. Because of the reduced labor from the RFID system, associates were able to take inventory daily versus the weekly barcode counts, and the percentage of shoe styles on display increased. Due to the pilot’s success, Lord & Taylor has been implementing the RFID solution at stores across the United States. The company has attributed a 4% increase in sales to the more complete displays on the selling floor.
Saks Fifth Avenue Boosts the Percentage of Shoes Displayed from 65% to 100%
Prior to RFID, shoe display compliance rates at Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store hovered around 65%. It was an exhaustive four-day process to manually check that each of the 4,000 shoe samples were properly on display and that each size was available in the stock room. With RFID tags applied to every shoe sample, daily inventory counts can be performed in 10 to 15 minutes which has led to nearly 100% display compliance rates. The solution is already in place at four of Saks’ stores and the company plans to continue installing the system at stores across the country.
Increasing sales and improving on-shelf availability are just two of the many reasons retailers are implementing RFID. Check out our e-book, The Top 7 Reasons Retailers Implement RFID, to learn some more key benefits of investing in this technology.