However wide-scale the deployment may be, the RFID system's use case is concentrated on only a single process, says Jon Wright, River Island's head of global loss prevention and safety. The deployment - consisting of the !D Cloud EPC ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID solution from Nedap Retail, based in the Netherlands - will initially monitor the overall inventory levels within each store, and thereby enable a more accurate automated replenishment, with the goal of boosting sales.
The deployment follows a multi-phase pilot carried out at seven stores during the course of several years. According to the company, the pilot showed that the RFID technology raised River Island's inventory accuracy to 97 percent, while also significantly boosting sales.
River Island has taken a systematic approach to its RFID deployment, Wright says, beginning with identifying the best use case and testing it at several stores, then measuring the results and planning how to roll out the technology in stages.
Wright joined the company three years ago to lead its global loss-prevention efforts, bringing a background in RFID. From the outset, he says, he planned to investigate how the technology could benefit the retailer by improving its inventory accuracy, in order to increase sales and enable omnichannel purchases.
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