Executive Briefings

JCPenney Plans to Use RFID to go Cash-Wrap Free by 2014

JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson is going all in with his bid to remake the customer experience at the century-old department store retailer. A mobile POS deployment beginning this fall is just the first step in an ambitious plan involving storewide use of RFID to eliminate traditional cash wrap stations, allowing anywhere, anytime checkout, including self-checkout, by 2014.

"JCPenney will be moving to a 100-percent [item-level] RFID implementation by February 1, 2013," said Johnson. "We'll be doing something that no other retailer has done completely. Most retailers use RFID for internal operations and inventory management, but we're going to jump right to the customer. My goal is to eliminate the cash wrap by the end of 2013."

Johnson also defended the retailer's controversial move to its coupon-free "Fair and Square" pricing strategy earlier this year, saying it's aligned with the move to self-service. "We'll roll out RFID-based self-checkout, which will allow customers to just throw the product down and see the price," he noted. "We couldn't do this with a promotional business strategy or with coupons. It's all linked by our pricing strategy."

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"JCPenney will be moving to a 100-percent [item-level] RFID implementation by February 1, 2013," said Johnson. "We'll be doing something that no other retailer has done completely. Most retailers use RFID for internal operations and inventory management, but we're going to jump right to the customer. My goal is to eliminate the cash wrap by the end of 2013."

Johnson also defended the retailer's controversial move to its coupon-free "Fair and Square" pricing strategy earlier this year, saying it's aligned with the move to self-service. "We'll roll out RFID-based self-checkout, which will allow customers to just throw the product down and see the price," he noted. "We couldn't do this with a promotional business strategy or with coupons. It's all linked by our pricing strategy."

Read Full Article