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Moods of Norway Opts for Checkpoint RFID Labels, Tests Fixed Readers
The Scandinavian clothing company has seen a 20 percent boost in online sales from using handheld readers to take in-store inventory, and plans to pilot the adoption of fixed readers at its DC and stores.
Other retailers are showing interest in RFID on a global scale, says Checkpoint's Doyle. "Apparel brands are releasing more collections, more frequently, to provide shoppers with something fresh and new every time they visit," she states. This shortens the design-to-delivery cycle for merchandise and labeling, resulting in goods that are constantly redesigned, prototyped and released to market, sometimes in small batches, sometimes in high volumes. "Our in-house design services, print-on-demand services and automated production shorten turnaround time, helping apparel brands and retailers adapt to faster cycles and variable demand."
Since the RFID system was implemented last year, Hübert reports, online sales are now up by 20 percent thanks to the ability to ship goods from stores. When a customer places an online order, the purchased goods are shipped either from the central warehouse or from the closest store. By better knowing the inventory at each location, the company can have goods shipped faster, thereby leading to increased sales. RFID-tagged goods have been outperforming comparable to non-RFID tagged items since the solution was installed, he says, simply because the products were more likely to be on the shelf and available to shoppers.
According to Hübert, inventory accuracy since the RFID system was implemented has approached 100 percent. "Ninety-eight percent inventory accuracy gives you a much better service level and shelf availability compared to the typical 70 to 80 percent that we had before RFID," he states, adding, "This is always more important at the end of the season, since [the quantity of the promotional] sales is higher and accuracy without RFID is at its lowest."
During a period of six weeks, Hübert estimates, the improvement in revenue pays for a full year's tag supply—which is, he says "by far the main cost driver in a project like this."
The RFID system still requires some adjustment as the company moves forward, Hübert notes. For instance, in some instances, goods from a supplier have been arriving at the DC without having been tagged. This has happened in the past, he says, when the suppliers simply didn't have enough tags on hand and thus chose to ship goods without them. In the future, Hübert says, Moods of Norway plans to charge its suppliers a fee for every item shipped without a tag.
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