RFID technology is already in operation at over 700 Zara stores

RFID technology is already in operation at over 700 Zara stores

Spanish retail giant Inditex is to implement radio frequency garment identification (RFID) technology into all of its stores in a bid speed up its supply chain processes. 

The owner of the Zara, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti brands said the technology will make distribution more efficient and in-store garment management more accurate by providing full control and visibility of the millions of garments the group ships every day to its stores around the world. 

Unveiled at its annual general meeting yesterday (15 July), Inditex said the technology is already in operation at more than 700 Zara stores and all of the brand's logistics centres. It is expected to be installed in all of Zara's stores by 2016. Inditex plans for a gradual rollout across the rest of its chains thereafter.

Chairman and CEO Pablo Isla described the project as "one of the most significant changes in how the group's stores operate".

The RFID system from Checkpoint Systems codes garments in boxes, pallets and hanging items at the logistics centres, which means that when shipments reach the stores twice weekly, it immediately pinpoints which sizes and models need replenishing.

RFID label encoding means that Inditex products are associated with a unique code allowing the apparel retailer to manage its inventory automatically.

The solution also enables Inditex to automate the sending of garments from the distribution centres to the stores, avoiding any possible packing mistakes in quantity, model, size or colour.

It also boosts customer service through immediate identification of size availability either in-store, in nearby stores or online.