Executive Briefings

UK Retailer Moves Toward RFID-Tagging 100 Percent of All Goods in Its Supply Chain

Global retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is expanding its use of EPC ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID technology at most of its stores, from 80 percent of its general merchandise toward a goal of tagging 100 percent of goods within the next two years.

The company has already been tracking 100 percent of its chilled food items via 10 million tagged food totes as they move through the supply chain and into stores. Last year, M&S reported that all merchandise at 750 of its UK store locations will be identified via RFID tags, which will be implemented by spring 2015, and that RFID will be employed by 200 of its factories throughout 20 countries. The company says that it is very near to achieving these goals. Currently, 100 percent of the clothing it sells is now RFID-tagged, as is half of its homeware items - bedding, bathroom products and soft furnishings.

"Having the right product in the right place at the right time makes Marks and Spencer a more efficient business and reduces our footprint," says Richard Jenkins, the head of M&S's RFID program. That, he explains, is the reason that his company has "been using RFID for many years."

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The company has already been tracking 100 percent of its chilled food items via 10 million tagged food totes as they move through the supply chain and into stores. Last year, M&S reported that all merchandise at 750 of its UK store locations will be identified via RFID tags, which will be implemented by spring 2015, and that RFID will be employed by 200 of its factories throughout 20 countries. The company says that it is very near to achieving these goals. Currently, 100 percent of the clothing it sells is now RFID-tagged, as is half of its homeware items - bedding, bathroom products and soft furnishings.

"Having the right product in the right place at the right time makes Marks and Spencer a more efficient business and reduces our footprint," says Richard Jenkins, the head of M&S's RFID program. That, he explains, is the reason that his company has "been using RFID for many years."

Read Full Article