John Lewis will invest in RFID tech to improve stock loss

John Lewis Partnership is planning to roll out Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to get “a real better visibility of [its] stock” as part of the company’s turnaround strategy.

Naomi Simcock, executive director at John Lewis, announced the retail group’s aim to make a “real investment” in technology to improve stock loss over the next year.

“We’re really pushing out the rollout of RFID into John Lewis so we’ve got a real better visibility of our stock and where we’ve actually got some of the risks in the system.”

The company made a £234m loss for the year, announcing it would not pay staff an annual bonus and warning of job cuts.


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“As we get more efficient, less time will be spent on processes such as replenishment and night-time picking. Less time means fewer partners,” chair Sharon White said.

RFID technology allows to track items in a supply chain, which helps reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. It provides real-time data about inventory and product location regardless of the item’s value or size.

A variety of stores have already implemented RFID tech. As such, women’s fashion label Kookai has partnered with Avery Dennison to introduce RFID in its manufacturing facilities in Fiji and Sri Lanka.

Similarly, a multinational retailer lululemon has partnered with Nedap to scale up the RFID-based inventory management platform to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region.

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