Macy’s has become a fierce advocate of RFID technology over the last 12 to 18 months. The retailer has pretty much taken over as the poster child for deploying RFID in the U.S. retail market.
Last year Macy’s announced that it will begin to roll out item level tagging at all Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide by Q3 of 2012 to count size-intensive replenishment goods — items regularly stocked and automatically resupplied as they are sold to customers.
The announcement represents about 30 percent of the company’s sales of $25 billion, meaning that Macy’s will tag approximately $8 billion worth of inventory.
RFID will also be a major feature of the $400 million renovation of Macy’s premiere Herald Square store in New York City. According to a recent story in Forbes, RFID will be deployed this fall when the a 63,000 square-foot shoe department opens in the Macy’s Herald Square location. The technology will help to track 300,000 pairs of shoes.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
Technology that will improve the customer experience and drive sales is an important part of the renovation. RFID (Radio-frequency identification) is going to be up and running this Fall when the new 63,000 square foot shoe department opens in the Macy’s Herald Square store. RFID, a technology that has been around for about 10 years, has become much more economical to apply to the tracking of merchandise. The first phase launches in August 2012 with 300,000 pairs of shoes for sale on any given day. RFID will make it much easier to track such a large quantity of shoes and, importantly, make it possible to serve the customer faster and more efficiently.
Installing RFID in the shoe department is the first broad use of this technology by Macy’s. From shoes, RFID will be expanded into other departments next year. Merchandise that is basic, always in stock and always in need of replenishment will follow. About one third of the full replenishment assortment at Macy’s will be on RFID. As a result, merchandise in stock levels will rise and customers will be happier. For example, in shoes, inventory will be monitored by size, width and color, and eventually, polo shirts will be monitored by color and size. The cost of RFID technology and the chips on each garment have come down dramatically in price, making it possible for Macy’s to take this first step.