German clothing chain Adler Modemärkte is among a handful of retailers using an RFID-enabled robot called Tory to count inventory and identify the locations of merchandise on store shelves each day. The robot and the software that manages the data it collects are provided by German technology firm MetraLabs.
Denimwall Inc. has launched a radio frequency identification solution at the G-Star RAW clothing store that it owns and operates in New York City's Union Square, to do everything from tracking inventory, managing sales transactions and providing electronic article surveillance to letting shoppers view product information on a touchscreen.
Given the vicissitudes of the world's textile and apparel supply chain, China is changing its strategy to counter what Chinese experts describe as the "new normal." That has direct impact on textiles in the United States.
Chris and Tope Folayan, two brothers who grew up in Nigeria and attended college in the United States, founded MallforAfrica in 2013. Tope earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. After graduating, he returned to Lagos, while Chris remained in the United States. Their company makes it easier for Nigerians to place online orders for American and British products that are difficult to find in Nigerian stores and that online retailers don't offer directly to most African consumers because of troublesome customs duties and paperwork, shipping costs and the fear of fraud.
Analyst Insight: Delivering a seamless customer experience will demand a more comprehensive approach to inventory visibility across the entire supply chain. Gone are the days of "offline and online" inventories. Retailers must determine how they will create and leverage one view of all of their inventories, where any location now may become a source to fulfill a customer's order. – Melanie Nuce, Vice President of Apparel and General Merchandise, GS1 US
Dematic Group, a supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services to optimize the supply chain, has acquired FSU Investments Limited, which holds a majority stake in SDI Group, a supplier of garment-on-hanger and flat sorter technology in Europe. Dematic intends to make an offer for the remaining share capital. The purchase of SDI Group Europe will expand Dematic's global order fulfillment offerings in apparel, retail and e-commerce markets.
In recent years, a growing number of retail RFID use cases have clearly demonstrated the benefits of being able to track inventory at the item level, leading to better shelf replenishment and fewer out of stocks. Many retailers quantify the benefits of reducing out of stocks not just at the item level (potential lost sales) but at the transaction level, since retailers closely track the number of items that comprise the average transaction (e.g. 3.6 items/sale). Using that example, an out-of-stock item (especially in a core category such as denim) could result in lost sales of an additional 2.6 items that were to be purchased with it.
A hot topic among retailers, customers and logistics professionals alike for years, omnichannel fulfillment is finally here. Whether shopping in person, buying online and picking up in store, or having merchandise sent directly to them, customers expect access to the same inventory.
Macy's and Bloomingdale's vendors have begun tagging fashion items, such as social dresses and men's jackets, for all of the retailer's stores. The RFID rollout, for item-level inventory tracking, follows initial piloting of RFID for fashion apparel at several of Macy's stores within the United States. Macy's Inc. operates both Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores.
The issue of ethical sourcing is a point of contention among procurement and supply chain professionals. The general sentiment is that the balancing act of being globally competitive and remaining a genuine corporate citizen is getting harder and harder. This is especially true for the rag trade. Apparel companies are consistently faced with the challenge of reducing costs while upholding ethical labour practices within their supply chain. How procurement and supply chain professionals in the sector manage this plays an increasingly important role in protecting company margins, brand reputation and growth. So what are the issues and factors at play and how can the risks involved be managed?