Target delivered a shot in the arm to the RFID industry this week when the giant retailer revealed plans to roll out RFID across all of its 1,795 stores. Target is working with its vendors on a fast-track timeline to deploy RFID at a limited number of stores later this year.
Target expects full rollout to all stores by the end of next year, making the project one of the largest in retail. Keri Jones, executive vice president for global supply chain and operations, says Target will initially tag categories including women’s apparel, baby and kids clothing and home décor. Target follows chain retailers like Macy’s and Kohl’s that have already placed a strong emphasis on RFID deployment.
Consumer engagement and omni-channel retail strategies represent two major goals of the deployment. In a company newsletter, Jones said that RFID will help Target to better fulfill online orders placed for store pickup, which already account for 15 percent of Target.com purchases.
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Target also announced that it has become a sponsor of the RFID Lab at Auburn University, which officially unveils its new facility this week.
Target unveiled its RFID timeline through its “A Bullseye View” newsletter, in which Jones said that RFID “will help Target improve our inventory accuracy and enhance our ability to keep stores in stock.
“You probably wouldn’t notice these new RFID tags on your own, necessarily, but that’s the point. This unobtrusive but significant technology will increase efficiencies by providing greater visibility into our inventory. That means guests will better be able to find out whether we’ve got the item at their Target store or at others nearby.”