Executive Briefings

Platt Retail Institute Finds RFID-Based Inventory Accuracy, Sales Gains at Macy's

The use of radio frequency identification technology at Macy's stores has boosted the global retailer's rate of on-shelf display compliance and overall inventory accuracy, while also lifting customer satisfaction and enhancing omnichannel fulfillment based on in-store, single-unit accuracy, according to a report released by The Platt Retail Institute (PRI), developed in cooperation with the Northwestern Retail Analytics Council (RAC).

But those findings are just the beginning, says Steven Keith Platt, the Platt Retail Institute's director and research fellow and RAC's research director. According to Platt, the technology offers retailers such as Macy's the opportunity to conduct a wide variety of analytics based on product tag reads, including better management of fitting rooms, determining best merchandise placement techniques, and managing pricing and trends predictions.

PRI's working paper, the research for which took about 15 months to complete, quantifies the benefits of RFID data for Macy's. The researchers tracked Macy's technology implementation results in four use cases. These consisted of RFID's use with display items in the women's shoes departments across all of Macy's U.S. stores, the overall inventory accuracy as measured by the gross unit variance (GUV) averages from 2013 to 2015, single unit fulfillment for omnichannel or in-store sales and, finally, back-room to store-front replenishment.

The Platt Retail Institute is an international research company that focuses on technology's use and impact on the customer experience, while RAC is a consumer shopping behavior-based research organization consisting of researchers from PRI and Northwestern University. PRI says it launched the research not only to present detailed findings regarding the use of RFID in the retail environment, but also to demonstrate how RFID-generated data can be integrated with other information managed by a store to provide greater business insights.

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But those findings are just the beginning, says Steven Keith Platt, the Platt Retail Institute's director and research fellow and RAC's research director. According to Platt, the technology offers retailers such as Macy's the opportunity to conduct a wide variety of analytics based on product tag reads, including better management of fitting rooms, determining best merchandise placement techniques, and managing pricing and trends predictions.

PRI's working paper, the research for which took about 15 months to complete, quantifies the benefits of RFID data for Macy's. The researchers tracked Macy's technology implementation results in four use cases. These consisted of RFID's use with display items in the women's shoes departments across all of Macy's U.S. stores, the overall inventory accuracy as measured by the gross unit variance (GUV) averages from 2013 to 2015, single unit fulfillment for omnichannel or in-store sales and, finally, back-room to store-front replenishment.

The Platt Retail Institute is an international research company that focuses on technology's use and impact on the customer experience, while RAC is a consumer shopping behavior-based research organization consisting of researchers from PRI and Northwestern University. PRI says it launched the research not only to present detailed findings regarding the use of RFID in the retail environment, but also to demonstrate how RFID-generated data can be integrated with other information managed by a store to provide greater business insights.

Read Full Article