Zara Builds Its Business Around RFID
With so many benefits and huge advantages, RFID has become the latest buzz of the retail industry. Following the footsteps of many, Zara decided to implement the technology and rolled out RFID in a 1,000-stores in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The RFID chips, about twice the size of a standard mobile-phone SIM card, help the world’s largest fashion retailer keep better track of its stock and replenish its clothing racks more quickly.
RFID chips can store information about whatever item they are attached to and, when prompted, emit that data via radio signals to a scanner. The chips are buried inside its garments’ plastic security tags, an innovation that allows the “fast fashion” chain to reuse them after the tags are removed at checkout.
RFID was implemented in more than 1,000 of the 2,000 Zara stores in 2014, with the rollout to be completed by 2016.
Before the RFID chips were introduced, employees had to scan barcodes one at a time and these storewide inventories were performed once every six months. Because the chips save time, Zara carries out the inventories every six weeks, getting a more accurate picture of what fashions are selling well and any styles that are languishing.
And each time a garment is sold, data from its chip prompts an instant order to the stockroom to send out an identical item. Previously, store employees restocked shelves a few times a day.
If a customer can’t find an item—say a medium-sized purple shirt—a salesperson can point an iPod’s camera at a barcode of a similar item and, using data gathered by the chips, see whether it is available in the store, in a nearby Zara store, or online.
Observing this, it is proved how beneficial RFID is, which is taking over the retail industry with a storm.