STORES Magazine - October 2008 - (Page 49)

NUTS AND BOLTS / RFID One at a Time U.K. department store operator takes stock of item-level RFID BY M.V. GREENE Y ou can’t sell an item you haven’t got in stock.” That is the basic-but-true approach of the U.K.’s John Lewis Partnership as it pushes out deployment of RFID for item-level cycle counting and store replenishment. Operator of the John Lewis Department Stores and other U.K. retail businesses, John Lewis Partnership has been testing item-level RFID for more than a year, seeking a better handle on the millions of items it sources into inventory each year and to commingle that data with sales visibility. “The idea was that we would have realtime inventory information,” says Nick Ager, John Lewis’ project manager for RFID. “The whole drive is to improve stock accuracy; as a consequence of that, we would improve availability.” John Lewis likes what it sees so far in its piloting. Though some issues need to be resolved to establish a viable business case for RFID, “we’ve had some very encouraging results,” Ager says. The company views adoption of RFID as part of a forward-thinking approach to retail — for both the customer and the business. In an April 2008 survey, 6,000 British consumers voted John Lewis the U.K.’s “favourite retailer.” Shoppers gave John Lewis the highest marks for price, convenience, quality and service in the polling done by London retail consultancy Verdict Research. RFID testing was hardly uneventful, Ager says, but it provided John Lewis with a laboratory to study obstacles to efficient RFID use in a department store RFID MARKET Retail National and international government Transportation Discrete manufacturing Other Source: Gartner 14% 20% 20% 21% 25% setting. For its program, John Lewis partnered with OATSystems, a Waltham, Mass.-based RFID solutions provider with offices in London and Bangalore, India. (Checkpoint Systems, a provider of retail shrink management solutions, acWWW.STORES.ORG STORES / OCTOBER 2008 49 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - October 2008

STORES Magazine - October 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Force of a Different Collar
What Shoppers Think
Bagging the Competition
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Favorite 50
Sticky Strategies for Retention
Business Intelligence
NRFtech Wrap-up
Warehouse Systems
Selling Tools
Supply Chain
LOEB Retail Letter
Arts Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - October 2008