Executive Briefings

European Sportswear Retailer Brings RFID to Smart Fitting Rooms

After several months of piloting smart fitting rooms at a single store, a global sports apparel retailer is now installing the technology at 350 of its stores across Eastern Europe. The solution consists of a touchscreen and an RFID reader within each fitting room, as well as software to manage the data and smart watches for employees.

It enables customers to view content about each item they try on, and to request additional garments automatically, while the store gains analytics regarding which products are generating the most interest, both individually and paired with other products. The retailer has asked to remain unnamed.

The solution is provided by European retail software company Detego, in the latest phase of the retailer's UHF EPC RFID deployment that began two years ago. At that time, it began tagging garments at the point of manufacture, and tracking those tags as they move through the supply chain and at the store. Fixed readers (Detego has declined to indicate the specific make and model) were installed to track the movements of goods from the back room to the store front, and that information could be compared against point-of-sale data to ensure that garments were restocked on store shelves. Staff members use handheld RFID readers twice a week to conduct inventory counts at each store.

The retailer has since tagged more than 80 million pieces of clothing and footwear, and has achieved nearly 100 percent inventory accuracy as a result of the RFID system's deployment. The company's goal, according to Uwe Hennig, Detego's CEO, is to have the RFID system installed within all 350 fitting rooms during the next 18 months.

The initial tagging of goods was intended to ensure that customers could find the products they wanted on the store shelves, Hennig explains, while allowing for omnichannel sales by enabling the company to ship goods from the online shopper's nearest store. "With high stock accuracy," he says, "they are able to improve their customer satisfaction rate."

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It enables customers to view content about each item they try on, and to request additional garments automatically, while the store gains analytics regarding which products are generating the most interest, both individually and paired with other products. The retailer has asked to remain unnamed.

The solution is provided by European retail software company Detego, in the latest phase of the retailer's UHF EPC RFID deployment that began two years ago. At that time, it began tagging garments at the point of manufacture, and tracking those tags as they move through the supply chain and at the store. Fixed readers (Detego has declined to indicate the specific make and model) were installed to track the movements of goods from the back room to the store front, and that information could be compared against point-of-sale data to ensure that garments were restocked on store shelves. Staff members use handheld RFID readers twice a week to conduct inventory counts at each store.

The retailer has since tagged more than 80 million pieces of clothing and footwear, and has achieved nearly 100 percent inventory accuracy as a result of the RFID system's deployment. The company's goal, according to Uwe Hennig, Detego's CEO, is to have the RFID system installed within all 350 fitting rooms during the next 18 months.

The initial tagging of goods was intended to ensure that customers could find the products they wanted on the store shelves, Hennig explains, while allowing for omnichannel sales by enabling the company to ship goods from the online shopper's nearest store. "With high stock accuracy," he says, "they are able to improve their customer satisfaction rate."

Read Full Article