Retail Giant Macy’s Expands RFID to Fashion Categories

RetailMacy’s and Bloomingdale’s to help launch Apple Pay; same-day delivery to be piloted in fall 2014; new POS technology and customer service enhancements in testing; new apps, web functionality and mobile wallet launched; RFID being expanded to fashion categories.

“Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s remain committed to operating at the forefront of innovation, as well as fostering a locally relevant shopping experience in every store. We will continue to test, to learn, and to proceed aggressively with new ideas that excite our customers and that make shopping more convenient and fun. Our goal remains to help our customers shop whenever, wherever and however they prefer, and to use the entire inventory of the company to satisfy demand,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer. “We are a multi-faceted retailer with stores, technology, Internet capability and mobile access that come together for our customers. They are at the center of all our decisions, and our ongoing research and development will continue to help us understand how to personally engage with them.”

NFC and RFID are both included in the emerging omnichannel strategy and technology at Macy’s, Inc., encompassing stores, online and mobile such as:

NFC-based Apple Pay: As announced on Sept. 9, 2014, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores will be among the first retailers to support the new NFC-based (Near Field Communications) Apple Pay™ mobile payment system which will be available beginning this fall on new iPhone® 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobile devices, as well as on the newly unveiled Apple Watch. The convenience of mobile payment at the point-of-sale is becoming increasingly interesting to customers, and Apple Pay offers an opportunity to further simplify the point-of-sale process in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores in an easy, secure and private manner. More details will be available in October, when the new service is scheduled to launch.

RFID Yielding Results and Expanding: Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are seeing tangible results from their adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that began rolling out in 2011. Macy’s, Inc. was among the first retailers to implement RFID on a broad national scale to improve the accuracy of item-level inventory counting, with an emphasis on basic size-intensive replenishment categories so the company can ensure that all appropriate styles and sizes are properly in place on the selling floor and available for sale. In recent omnichannel pilots in fashion categories – social dresses, men’s sportcoats and men’s slacks – Macy’s documented RFID’s ability to significantly improve sales, gross margins and markdowns by better leveraging inventory counts that are real-time and accurate. Additional rollout of RFID tagging in fashion categories is planned for 2015.

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2013 sales of $27.931 billion. The company operates about 840 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the macys.com and bloomingdales.com websites. The company operates 13 Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores. Bloomingdale’s in Dubai is operated by Al Tayer Group LLC under a license agreement.

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