Macy’s stores hav announced that it would like to include RFID technology, the radio-wave based system that is said to be the future of checkout line-less shopping, in its stores’ operations, Forbes reported today. Don’t get too excited though – Macy’s will use RFID to keep track of replenishment goods and take inventory. Not exactly as thrilling a prospect as dumping a couple of shirts into your bag and strolling out the door. Still, this is a significant advent of RFID capabilities.
Macy’s, which owns 850 stores of the same name as well as 4 Bloomingdale’s outlet stores, hopes to utilize the technology to ensure they “have the right product at the right time,” in the words of Chief Administrative Officer Tom Cole. By keeping track of replenishment goods, defined as products that are replaced as soon as they leave the shelves, Macy’s can run a more efficient operation. Replenishment goods comprise 30% of Macy’s total sales and range from denim of all sorts to women’s footwear.
The department store chain will also take advantage of the technology to take periodic, instantaneous inventory of their products as an alternative to the annual, manual model they have traditionally utilized.
RFID is one of the most promising up-and-coming advances of today. It has already been widely adopted by numerous wireless communicators in the form of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology (think Google Wallet). You can be sure that other organizations will follow Macy’s shrewd example and make the decision to incorporate RFID with their own technologies.
I, for one, cannot wait to eschew those long lines staring at the candies at the supermarket.