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RETECH Americas 2012 – the conference for retailers, by retailers – was held on October 8-10, 2012 at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. The conference, co-sponsored by Tyco Retail Solutions, RIS News and LP Magazine, historically focused on safety, security and loss prevention (LP). This year’s RETECH broadened the scope to address the rapid growth of retail technology – like radio frequency identification (RFID) – that encompasses all retail operations to improve overall efficiency and boost sales and profits.
Leading retailers Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s considered this year’s high point to be the new technology spin on content. In fact, retailers felt the agenda contained the most informative and effective content of any retail event in years.
“Integrated inventory intelligence is central to delivering on the promise of omni-channel retailing as apparel retailers strive to build deeper shopper relationships and improve the in-store experience,” explains Nancy Chisholm, vice president and general manager, Tyco Retail Solutions .
RFID discussion groups were held with a focus on inventory, store operations and loss prevention. Retailers shared details for successfully adopting RFID inventory visibility applications – with Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s describing how they successfully deployed RFID technology chain-wide to decrease out-of-stocks, increase sales and enable omni-channel retailing.
The RFID theme continued in a small group workshop, “The Impact of RFID on Retail,” moderated by Dave Weinland, publisher of RIS News. Retailers broke into small groups for an interactive discussion and were asked a series questions to gain high level insight to the retailer’s level of understand of RFID technology – like the solutions offered by Tyco – and its impact and benefit to LP. Some key insights gained from retailers’ perceptions include:
- Retailers researching RFID are including the needs of multiple departments. In attendance 90.9% reported LP is actively involved in RFID discussions at their companies.
- Receiving and distribution centers are the areas in LP most likely to benefit most from RFID technology. Traditionally, LP was accountable for any loss on the back end with the assumption that the inventory count was accurate and complete upon receipt, though inventory distortion can often start at receiving. RFID helps guarantee inventory positioning starts off accurate, making the inventory visibility process more precise, which allows retailers to route shrink to the proper cause.
- Internal theft and administrative error are the areas retailers anticipate RFID will have the largest potential impact on shrinkage.
RFID complements traditional electronic article surveillance (EAS), and may be instrumental in reducing external theft as well.
Whether a retailer is actively deploying RFID solutions or evaluating the best ways to adopt this new technology, it’s clear RFID is making a major impact across all retail operations. It empowers organizations to make sound technology decisions and structure programs that do more, leverage store infrastructures, and align to the individual retailer’s needs.
For more information on RFID solutions, click here.