Retail Item Level RFID, Inventory and the holiday season

The theme of this holiday season is inventory management.  Retailers have decided to avoid the significant markdowns they offered last year by carrying a lot less inventory.  Retailers will be able to maintain high margins, but many customers will be turned away as items will just not be available.  In fact I even read a quote encouraging shoppers to get their shopping done now, because if they wait, there will just be no availability.  In the short term, this solution is viable, but in the long term will be very harmful to the retailer.   They are going to need another solution to better manage their inventory and that solution is item level RFID in the store.

A key component of item level RFID is being able to maintain or reduce the amount of inventory and guarantee availability.  This is achieved by having better inventory visibility.   With item level RFID, you are able to get data on what  is happening with inventory in the store.  The only way inventory will be sold is if its on the store floor where it belongs.  Replenishment  becomes a much more exact science as the retailer is able to determine what they have on the floor and what they don’t have. This even becomes available as a  store to store transfer application if one store has an abundance of one product while another one has very little.  Having the inventory in the right place at the right time to sell is critical for a retailer and item level RFID can help them reduce out of stocks and increase availability.

So rather than reducing inventory and telling customers to hurry to avoid out of stocks, the retailer can actually do this job for them by getting better visibility into their inventory. They will be able to reduce markdowns, and have better product availability which in turn leads to an increase in sales and higher customer satisfaction.

My name is Dan Sandler and I’m Overheer.


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