Executive Briefings

European Sporting Goods Chain Boosts Inventory Accuracy With RFID Technology

European sporting goods and sportswear retailer Sport Zone is expanding its use of RFID technology to eight stores, following a two-store pilot that raised inventory accuracy to 99 percent, thereby boosting sales.

The company expects to recoup its investment within a year after deploying an RFID solution that helps it track when merchandise leaves its distribution center, arrives at stores and is put out on the sales floor.

Sport Zone trialed the technology beginning in April 2015, by tagging and tracking all apparel and footwear sold at two of its stores.

Sport Zone sells athletic apparel and sports equipment, such as camping gear, bicycles, balls and treadmills, at its 120 stores—the majority of which are located in Portugal and Spain—and employs a total of 1,300 workers. About half of the retailer's products are its own brands, developed internally, while the other half represent international brands. To meet the replenishment requirements for all of its stores, the company fulfills approximately 100,000 orders daily for all product categories.

Each store averages 1,200 square meters (12,900 square feet) in size, and inventory inaccuracies can force the sales staff to spend time "chasing out-of-stocks on the sales floor." Three times a year, the stores assign employees to count all inventory—about 25,000 units located on each store's sales floor and in the back room—about 70 percent of which comprise apparel and footwear. The process took around three days to complete. In addition, between those inventory counts, workers occasionally spent time before or after business hours conducting limited counts of everything on the sales floor.

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The company expects to recoup its investment within a year after deploying an RFID solution that helps it track when merchandise leaves its distribution center, arrives at stores and is put out on the sales floor.

Sport Zone trialed the technology beginning in April 2015, by tagging and tracking all apparel and footwear sold at two of its stores.

Sport Zone sells athletic apparel and sports equipment, such as camping gear, bicycles, balls and treadmills, at its 120 stores—the majority of which are located in Portugal and Spain—and employs a total of 1,300 workers. About half of the retailer's products are its own brands, developed internally, while the other half represent international brands. To meet the replenishment requirements for all of its stores, the company fulfills approximately 100,000 orders daily for all product categories.

Each store averages 1,200 square meters (12,900 square feet) in size, and inventory inaccuracies can force the sales staff to spend time "chasing out-of-stocks on the sales floor." Three times a year, the stores assign employees to count all inventory—about 25,000 units located on each store's sales floor and in the back room—about 70 percent of which comprise apparel and footwear. The process took around three days to complete. In addition, between those inventory counts, workers occasionally spent time before or after business hours conducting limited counts of everything on the sales floor.

Read Full Article