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Bookstore Item-Level RFID Tagging Boosts Sales

CIO Insight provides an update on the item-level tagging deployment by the Dutch book retailer Boekhandels Groep Nederland (BGN). According to the article, the deployment is generating major benefit, so much so that BGN plans to expand it across 16 more stores before the end of next year.
Nov 03, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

November 3, 2006—CIO Insight provides an update on the item-level RFID tagging deployment by the Dutch book retailer Boekhandels Groep Nederland (BGN). According to the article, the deployment is generating major benefit, so much so that BGN plans to expand it across 16 more stores by the end of next year. Recall that in April, the company announced that it had deployed a solution at its 1,000 square meter Selexyz Scheltema store in Almere, Netherlands, in which every book was tagged. For more background, see First RFID Item-Level Tagged Store Opens.

CIO Jan Vink identified two major areas of benefit: increased sales and improved inventorying. The increased sales are a result of the RFID-enabled facilitation of the shopping experience, which Vink predicted to RFID Update in April would materially boost sales: "I expect that finding the product quite easily will contribute 10% to 15% [of BGN's total revenue this year]." The location of tagged books are available in real time to customers, who may be browsing at an in-store kiosk or at home via the website. If at home, customers can purchase the book online, then pick it up at the store later. Furthermore, the system has cut down on misplaced books. "We scan the entire store three times a week to find books that are out of place," Vink is quoted as saying. According to the company, sales jumped 12 percent in the eight weeks following the RFID deployment.

The inventorying process, which was once expensive and labor-intensive, has been vastly improved. The process used to require manually scanning a bar code on every box of books, then breaking open the box to count and verify its contents. It took about four minutes. Now that all the books are tagged, the process takes seconds. The savings are dramatic, especially considering the potential: seven million books are handled annually across the retail chain.

CIO Insight writes that the entire system cost $600,000, excluding tags. Vink calculates that if RFID were expanded across its entire chain of 42 stores, the annual savings would be $3.8 million.

Read the article from CIO Insight
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