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Sport Zone Raises Inventory Accuracy With RFID
Following a two-store pilot that found UHF RFID raised inventory accuracy to 99 percent, boosting sales, the sporting goods retailer is now deploying the technology at eight other stores.
May 18, 2016—
European sporting goods and sportswear retailer Sport Zone is expanding its use of RFID technology to eight stores, following a two-store pilot that raised inventory accuracy to 99 percent, thereby boosting sales. The company expects to recoup its investment within a year after deploying an RFID solution that helps it track when merchandise leaves its distribution center, arrives at stores and is put out on the sales floor.
Sport Zone trialed the technology beginning in April 2015, by tagging and tracking all apparel and footwear sold at two of its stores. The technology includes Avery Dennison and Zebra Technologies hardware, as well as software provided by Tyco Retail Solutions.
Miguel Teles, Sport Zone's head of supply chain, described the deployment at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2016 conference and exhibition, held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla.
Each store averages 1,200 square meters (12,900 square feet) in size, Teles told attendees, adding that inventory inaccuracies can force the sales staff to spend time "chasing out-of-stocks on the sales floor." Three times a year, the stores assign employees to count all inventory—about 25,000 units located on each store's sales floor and in the back room—about 70 percent of which comprise apparel and footwear. The process took around three days to complete. In addition, between those inventory counts, workers occasionally spent time before or after business hours conducting limited counts of everything on the sales floor.
Sport Zone hired an external auditing company to visit its stores. Based on the results of those audits, the firm found that even with the periodic inventory counts, 20 to 30 percent of its stock-keeping units (SKUs) were simply unavailable on the sales floor, despite potentially being in the store—often in the back room.
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