Target has aggressively pursued RFID technology over the past several years. It’s no secret that the giant retailer’s deployment to more than 1,600 stores in 2016 represents retail’s largest rollout. Now, we know that Target is sourcing its tags from Avery Dennison.
Avery announced this week that its partnership with Target includes deployment of RFID technology to more than 1,600 stores to help maximize inventory availability and deliver an enhanced guest experience. Although Avery did not confirm that Target consumed more than one billion tags last year, it did confirm that the deployment is the largest of its kind.
Target is leveraging Avery’s UHF RFID portfolio for a variety of category and performance needs, including apparel and a number of home products. In addition, Avery Dennison RFID tags have been integrated with current trim products to optimize the branding of the garments being tagged.
“In the apparel industry, having an accurate picture of stock availability is an important driver for retailers to deliver an optimized omnichannel experience,” said Bill Toney, vice president for RFID Market Development at Avery Dennison, in a press release.
When Target announced its third quarter earnings in November, the retailer credited RFID with helping to reduce out-of-stocks to an all-time low, as well as helping Target’s online sales to grow by 26 percent.
“In affected categories, overall inventory accuracy has increased dramatically, meaningfully reducing the number of occasions in which we can’t physically locate an item,” Target COO John Mulligan said in the company’s earnings report. “In addition, we’ve made system changes to optimize replenishment of products that our guests purchase in multiples and made changes to minimum on hand standards and higher volume locations, both of which have dramatically reduced our stocks on effective items. We will continue to test and roll out these enhancements throughout next year.”
Mulligan says that Target will expand and benefit from RFID for years to come.
“We think there continues to be significant opportunity for us. And I think we see opportunity first at a store level ensuring we always have what the guest wants when they walk in, because even though we’ve improved meaningfully there’s still a lot of distance there to go.
Retail continues to embrace RFID. Macy’s has announced that every product it sells will carry an RFID tags by the end of this year. In Kurt Salmon’s first large retail study of RFID in 2014, 34 percent of respondents had either implemented or were piloting RFID. Today, that number has more than doubled to 73 percent.