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RFID in retail validated in new study

By Retail Technology | Tuesday April 11 2017

New research validates the use of RFID to combat inventory distortion and increase inventory accuracy and visibility

Tyco Retail Solutions partnered with several industry groups to examine the value of RFID technology to help ensure inventory accuracy and enable store-level fulfilment. 

The results showed that the key to offering various fulfilment options is having visibility into the true real-time inventory in every store enabled through item-level RFID. 

Adopting this technology and regular cycle counting processes helps retailers to prevent inventory distortion and can increase inventory accuracy up to 99% and maintain it at 95-99%. With enhanced inventory accuracy, the number of shoppers who can find the inventory they want can increase sales by 5% to 25% also.

“As today’s consumers continue to seek merchandise where and when they want it, 
retailers must prioritise the implementation of technology that supports a unified commerce strategy,” said Brent Brown, vice president and general manager, inventory intelligence and IoT, Tyco Retail Solutions. “RFID-based solutions enable retailers to confidently present accurate real-time in-stock positions to meet today’s customer expectations and maximise business outcomes.”


Recently, the Platt Retail Institute released detailed findings on RFID’s quantifiable benefits based on extensive research with Macy’s and its RFID programme. 

Macy’s has been a pioneer in deploying item-level RFID, utilising Tyco Retail’s RFID-enabled inventory solution for many years. 

This extensive research revealed inventory accuracy results indicating that Macy’s was accumulating inventory variance at a rate of 4-5% monthly before implementing RFID and monthly cycle counts. With regular RFID cycle counts, the variance was maintained at an overall 2-4.5% variance, with fewer markdowns across the company’s inventory. 

In addition, making every single unit of selected RFID store merchandise available for sale resulted in quantifiable increases in sales, units picked and order fulfilment rates. 

This is critically important for Macy’s as nearly 20% of the company’s in-store merchandise exists as single units. They also realised measurable savings in transportation costs, markdowns and inventory levels. The Platt study details extensive research for four unique store RFID use cases, and for each, the pilot RFID stores significantly outperformed the non-RFID stores. 

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