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RFID a 'Very Big Part of Macy's Future'
At a recent investor meeting, the retailer's top executives, including its chief omnichannel officer, reiterated how item-level tagging is a key driver for growth.
Jun 21, 2013—
During an investor meeting held last week at its New York headquarters in midtown Manhattan, Macy's executives provided an update on the company's strategy regarding radio frequency identification and the role the technology is playing in driving sales and profitability.
"A lot of the growth is coming from omnichannel," explained Karen Hoguet, Macy's chief financial officer, "and we are going to keep investing in all of these technologies and all of these different ways of doing transactions."
Macy's launched its omnichannel initiative several years ago. The strategy involves integrating its stores, the Internet and mobile devices so that the retailer can deploy all of its inventory—no matter where the goods may be located—to serve customers' needs. A pivotal part of this omnichannel strategy is the company's capability of allowing associates at any store to sell a product that may be out of stock locally, by selecting merchandise from other locations, or from its online fulfillment centers, for shipment to the customer's door. Likewise, the online fulfillment centers can draw on store inventories nationwide to process orders originating on the Internet or via mobile devices.
At the end of 2011, the company had 23 Macy's stores set up to pick and ship orders from other brick-and-mortar locations, or from the Internet. At the start of 2013, Hoguet said, 292 stores were enabled to fulfill goods. By this fall, she expects there to be a total of approximately 500 stores available for filling orders. Macy's customers, she has said, don't really care from where the retailer pulls the goods, as long as it fills each order accurately and the delivery is timely.
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