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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
Upon selecting merchandise for purchase, a customer brings those items to the sales counter, where a fixed reader is installed under the counter. The products' tags are interrogated, and the Glovia system determines which goods are being purchased and shares that data with the POS software, which then calculates the price. The Glovia system updates the inventory status to indicate which items have been sold, and can issue alerts in the event that additional merchandise needs to be ordered.

The result is that goods are checked out faster at the cash register, BEAMS reports. Additionally, staff members have more time to spend helping customers with their purchases, and items are more likely to be on the shelf.

The company also intends to install RFID readers at its shelves and within fitting rooms, in order to provide real-time data indicating where particular products are located. The readers would detect when an item was lifted from the shelf, as well as when it was returned. This information, according to a BEAMS spokesperson, "will enable us to track individual products inside the store, thus helping us grasp the volume of customer interest—whether items are being carried to the fitting room or not, and whether they are taken to check out or returned to the shelves."

The spokesperson adds, "If the system performs well after a year of actual use and a dozen more store openings, we may consider this system for our existing chain of stores." There are approximately 110 BEAMS shops nationwide.

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