RFID for Retail: Inventory Management to Point of Sale

Gerry Weber RFID and Point of Sale

Smart retailers know that inventory management is key in the battle to keep costs down and profits up.  In this case study, we examine how international fashion and lifestyle company Gerry Weber deployed a radio-frequency identifcation (RFID) system from Trimble to keep tabs on inventory and increase security for the retail chain.

 


 

Trimble’s RFID system is called ThingMagic and powers several components of the inventory management system at Gerry Weber.  The system includes handheld scanners used for inventory, point of sale scanners, and Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) gate antennas. Gerry Webber has implemented the system in 150 retail stores in Germany and throughout Europe.

Gerry Weber began by embedding RFID rags into the care labels of 25 million garments it manufactures annually.  These “smart” care tags help the retail chain to streamline inventory and simplify the order management process.  During the receiving process at its retail locations, Gerry Weber staff scan the RFID tags with handheld scanners powered by ThingMagic RFID readers. The use of RFID for this inventory activity can save store employees a significant amount of time because it eliminates the need for counting items by hand or scanning individual barcodes when orders arrive.   The retailer has also integrated mobile computers for retail floor inventory, resulting in reduced labor requirements, increased inventory accuracy, and improved product availability.

Gerry Weber has also deployed RFID-enabled point of sale and electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems to automate purchasing and electronic theft protection processes. The diverse, multi-faceted system includes embedded RFID tags to automate the acquisition of sales information at the point of purchase and provide protection against potential shoplifters by detecting items leaving the store. In addition to automating purchase data collection, the system sends an alert when removed items have no record of being scanned at point of sale, indicating a potential theft.

“Gerry Weber has made a commitment to RFID based upon the significant value its extensive testing and business case analysis has proven,” said Bernd Schoner, vice president of Trimble’s ThingMagic Division. “The use of our powerful embedded RFID engines lays the foundation for several applications in retail environments. We are very pleased to be a part of this solution and believe it provides yet another exceptional example of the value of RFID in the retail market.”

Companies serving the retail market choose solutions like ThingMagic RFID modules for their small form factor, ease of integration, and superior tag read rate across a variety of operating conditions. This particular family of embedded RFID readers is designed to enable mobile and stationary devices across the full retail spectrum.  It’s clear that Gerry Weber is happy with the retail solutions provided by Trimble in its RFID system, ThingMagic.

For more on Gerry Weber, click here.

For more on Trimble ThingMagic, click here.

 


Looking at specific case studies like this one allows us to see how different companies across both the country and the world use innovative retail technology to streamline their operations.  RFID technology, and especially that provided by “smart” clothing tags for clothing retailers, provides a wealth of options for retailers seeking to control loss and increase sales.  What are your thoughts?  Do you think RFID is a viable retail solution?  Have you seen it used successfully in the retail setting?


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