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B:MING Clothing Stores Try RFID

A solution from Fujitsu enables the Japanese retailer to track inventory from its distribution centers to its stores, and to increase efficiency at the point of sale by reading the tags of goods sold.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 16, 2012Tokyo-based retailer BEAMS Co. Ltd. has incorporated radio frequency identification technology at five B:MING Life Stores that it recently opened in Japan. The stores are employing RFID technology for both tracking inventory and improving efficiency at the point of sale (POS). Two of the locations opened in September 2012, followed by three more at the beginning of this year, all equipped with EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID technology provided by Fujitsu.

The solution tracks tagged merchandise, as along with shopping carts and hangers, thereby affording the company better control over the locations of these assets, as well as products for sale, throughout the store. The technology has reduced the amount of time that staff members spend tracking goods through the shipping and receiving processes, the company reports, down to one-third of what it had been using the manual inventory-counting method. What's more, the RFID-enabled POS solution has increased sales, due to a shorter checkout time that makes purchases easier for customers.

Based on the system's success at the first two stores, during fall 2012, the company proceeded to open three additional locations equipped with the technology. The retailer plans to install the system at approximately five stores every six months, until all of its Japanese locations are equipped with RFID. The solution was installed in order to improve distribution and in-store operational efficiency, says Naomi Ogawa, a Fujitsu spokesperson.

The technology consists of Fujitsu's fixed readers, as well as Pastel Plus RFID software provided by Fujitsu subsidiary Glovia Services Inc. The Pastel Plus software is integrated with Fujitsu's TeamSTORE/S POS solution, so that sales information can be shared with the RFID data to access pricing at the point of sale, update inventory data regarding merchandise on hand and issue alerts related to replenishment requirements.

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