Fashion retailer Matalan has deployed item-level RFID technology from SML across all of its 220 stores in the UK.
SML has been working with Matalan for the past two years, resulting in the retailer determining that it needed to improve inventory accuracy across its entire business. To facilitate this, Matalan embarked on deploying RFID into two pilot stores using SML’s Clarity software suite. The outcome was that the retailer discovered various benefits, most importantly that its inventory accuracy wasn’t at an acceptable level. Within each of the two store pilots, Matalan staff were able to count in excess of 100,000 items of merchandise over a three hour window. The counts were done on a weekly basis and achieved inventory accuracy of above 95 percent. The technology is also able to accurately receive stock from a central distribution center, with delivery discrepancies reported back to the warehouse management system.
Following the six-month pilot across two locations, Matalan has now deployed RFID across all 220 of its stores in the UK in order to enhance its inventory accuracy and deliver on omnichannel to improve the shopping experience. In-store staff will also provide a better customer experience by using real-time stock enquiry and search/find functionality. The system utilizes over 900 handheld terminals from Zebra Technologies with an Android touch computer across the estate, and the data is stored in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform.
The technology was fully tested and rolled out to the 220 stores in a four-month period. Matalan is now looking to deploy various innovations to leverage the investment in RFID.
Howard Reed, chief information officer at Matalan, commented: ‘As a business, we are committed to adopting appropriate transformative technologies that enable us to address the ever-changing needs of our customers. Our initial pilots using SML’s Clarity RFID solution allowed us to gain a significantly improved view of our inventory and the return on investment across the business was apparent.
‘Without RFID technology, we will not be able to deliver on our customers’ shopping experience needs.’
Dean Frew, chief technology officer and senior vice president, RFID solutions at SML, added: ‘The past year has been significant for item-level RFID technology adoption as more retailers report on their return on investment using the technology. Matalan is a prime example of how a retailer can utilize the technology to improve its daily operations, deliver on an enhanced customer experience and provide multi-channel shopping opportunities. We are honored to be selected as Matalan’s technology partner.’