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Wedding Retailer Commits to RFID

WED2B has boosted sales by 20 percent with higher inventory accuracy at its stores, thanks to an RFID-based system from Retail Asset Solutions that ensures wedding gowns and other garments and accessories are on hand for shoppers.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 05, 2018

When a bridal party enters a wedding store in search of gowns, they don't want to hear that a specific dress is out of stock, or to be overwhelmed with endless racks of gowns for every style and size. Wedding dress and bridal wear retailer Wed2B has launched an RFID-based system that allows customers to easily access the kinds of dresses in which they are interested, and to be assured that the correct size, color and style they seek is available.

The technology is provided by Retail Asset Solutions. The company's RFID solution uses software provided by RFKeeper to capture and manage data regarding the location of each item, ranging from gowns to tiaras. The system was taken live during the course of several months last year.

Workers use Nordic-ID handheld RFID readers to update inventory counts.
WED2B, founded in 2009 as the Wedding Dress Factory Outlet, has since become what it calls the largest bridal retailer in the United Kingdom, with 36 stores in operation. The retailer seeks to ensure that customers can visit its stores without an appointment, choose from a selection of hundreds of dresses, try on the ones they like and take them home. That requires high inventory accuracy to ensure that every size and style remains available.

WED2B's Jonny Liddle
Ensuring accurate inventory management across the company's nationwide store network is vital to supporting its business model, says Jonny Liddle, WED2B's merchandising director. The deployment began with a trial at the firm's flagship store, according to Keith Holt, Retail Asset Solutions' RFID account manager. By tagging each item and comparing the RFID inventory counts with bar-code counts, the pilot store realized a 25 percent boost in accuracy with RFID, as well as a 96 percent reduction in inventory counting time, and has been able to reduce stock levels by 20 percent.

WED2B opted to deploy the system across 27 more stores; as eight additional stores have opened, those have been using the same solution as well. The tagging of product took place throughout a span of about two weeks, while the full deployment, including implementation and training, required less than three months to be completed. Retail Asset Solutions' offering consists of UHF RFID tags from r-pac, with built-in Impinj Monza chips. While all items were tagged at the stores during implementation, the tags will be applied at the point of manufacture going forward.

The tags are first read and commissioned at WED2B's distribution center, located in Milton Keynes, when the products are received from the manufacturer. DC employees use Nordic ID Medea handheld readers to capture each tag ID.

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