After testing the use of radio frequency identification to reduce the incidence of out-of-stocks at several of its stores, German clothing firm s.Oliver Bernd Freier is now pondering the project's results, and is trying to ascertain whether to adopt the technology permanently.
The company, which reports annual sales of more than Ã¢"šÂ¬1bn ($1.4bn) and employs 6,500 staff members worldwide, sells clothing and accessories for men, women and children, with a focus on young fashion. The company's business is 24 percent retail, with the remainder comprising wholesale and franchise operations. In the stores that it operates, Oliver wants to make sure that certain items are always in stock. It surveyed its customers, and 17 percent indicated they would not return to a store if unable to find the items they were looking for.
The company ran its proof-of-concept test from June to September 2010, in order to gain experience with RFID, and to find out if the technology could be used to increase sales by improving logistics and making sure its stores are adequately supplied with what it calls never-out-of-stock merchandise.
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