Leading apparel company Inditex SA is rolling out RFID to its Zara retail locations, with 1,000 of the 2,000 stores scheduled to have the technology integrated by the end of this year, and the rest following by 2016. With RFID, Zara will gain greater visibility into item-level locations, changing how they operate their stores.
Prior to deployment, Inditex purchased 500 million RFID chips, which equals one of every six tag chips apparel makers are expected to use this year. They are placing the chips in plastic security tags, which will protect the tags and allow the retailer to reuse them once removed at checkout.
Store employees are already benefiting from the RFID rollout. Before RFID, employees conducted storewide inventories by scanning each item’s barcode, one at a time. Because of this time-consuming method, store inventory was only performed once every six months, and required a team of 40 employees and five hours to complete the task. With RFID and handheld readers, a team of 10 can complete the process in half the time.
When an item is purchased, the store’s inventory is immediately updated, prompting an employee to immediately restock the item. And, if a customer cannot locate an item, a store employee can check other store locations to see if the item is available. "It gives us great visibility, knowing exactly where each garment is located," Inditex CEO Pablo Isla said. "It really changes how we operate our stores."
To learn more about Zara's RFID deployment and view a video of the technology being used in-store, click here.
Source: Wall Street Journal