Belgian clothing retailer JBC has rolled-out radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology throughout its supply chain, and across its 144 store network, in order to provide more accurate merchandise visibility. 

The RFID deployment is being delivered by Checkpoint Systems, which will enable JBC to process online purchases next to regular brick and mortar activities. Six 'RFID Tunnels' at JBC's distribution centre in Houthalen-Helchteren automatically verify the physical contents of in-bound shipments from suppliers and outbound shipments to JBC stores. The tunnels, in conjunction with Checkpoint's OAT Enterprise software, automatically match the exact contents against shipping manifests as they enter and leave the distribution centre for its stores.

Source tagging, which involves electronic article surveillance (EAS) or RFID labels being applied to products during the manufacturing process, is helping retailers boost profitability through improved efficiency.

JBC said it is pioneering the adoption of RFID technology in Belgium to provide accurate merchandise visibility throughout its supply chain with the objective of enabling omni-channel retailing and enhancing its shoppers' experience. The retailer now tracks around 17m items per year, from the moment of production at its 100 suppliers globally, up to the time they are sold in its stores in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. 

"We partnered with Checkpoint to prove the concept and measure the impact RFID technology would have through our supply chain," said Fred Tielens, logistics manager at JBC. "We can now accurately track and have visibility into the quantity and location of over 17m stock items, which enables us to confidently expand our omni-channel initiatives in the future."