Saks Fifth Avenue Launches RFID
Saks Fifth Avenue has added RFID to their shoe show rooms in 40 different stores making a huge difference on their sales floors. The decision to adopt RFID was based on an RFID pilot at the New York City department store earlier in the year. Tyco Retail Solutions brought the system into place at Saks and even bragged that the display compliance rates have risen from 65% to nearly 100% percent since the install.
As we all know, if it’s not offered for sale or on the showroom floor, no one can buy it. When they used barcodes to inventory their samples on the show room floor, it took over three days of employee labor. They have placed EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID tags on 3,000 women’s shoes and 1000 men’s show floor samples. Each week, Saks gets around 5000 new pairs of shoes which are all stored in their stock room ready to be sold. With this much inventory, a system had to be put in place in order to keep everything on the show room floor and detect theft if necessary. The employees use handheld RFID readers to collect data on the floor and determine which shoes are being shown at any given time. Now, the department stores are able to gather their show room floor inventory in about 15-20 minutes saving labor costs and time.
Looking to the future, Saks is excited to get a Zebra RFID Printer to print each shoe’s RFID label. Currently, they manually encode each label, which does take time, but they have a plan in place to get a label printer-encoder in all of their stores. And you know, if they needed me to show them how to use it, I would be happy to. They would need to know that I currently only accept payment in the form of shoes, and tips of more shoes are gladly appreciated. I think it could work out!
What should retailers know about RFID in the retail industry?
In this news story, ThingMagic gives us an overview about all the things RFID is doing in the retail segment, and it is, well, amazing. It’s astounding to realize that inventory tracking is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retail stores and RFID technology. Here are few things you may or may not know that RFID may change forever:
Smart Shelves: Did you know that smart shelves are now becoming more and more popular in the retail industry? For example, when you walk up to the shelf, it will show you product videos and information related to the specific item you’re currently removing from the shelf. Smart shelves are also great for inventory tracking and knowing when to buy more of a certain item depending on the current stock levels.
Smart Mirrors: Did you know that Prada starting using this over 10 years ago? Neither did I! Smart mirrors have a triggered response from items you hold near the mirror. Say you hold up a coat to see how it looks on you, the mirror turns into an interactive screen and provides information and videos about the coat.
Smart Fitting Rooms: Maybe you know about the smart fitting rooms through our videos at RFID Journal Live! Did you know they are now linking these fitting rooms with social networks? You can take a product into a fitting room, and the RFID reader in the room will read the garment’s RFID tag and send the data to a sales associate so they know what you have (theft deterrent). They also know what matching garment or accessory to provide the customer when trying on this garment to ‘up’ their sale. Currently, experiments are going on to enable NFC in the fitting rooms so that customers can upload what they are trying on directly to their social profiles. Cool, right?
Retail stores should expect a whole lot of changes now that RFID is cost effective and is being used in major deployments. RFID could change the way you buy anything and everything one day, from smart mirrors, to NFC chips, to smart shelving. Who knows what they will come up with next!