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Retailer Untuckit to optimise inventory through RFID

Fast-growing US men's wear brand brand Untuckit is working on a pilot that will use data collected by RFID chips on men's shirts, traffic counters and other in-store data points to identify the optimal merchandising mix.

The company's retail model aims to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers who try on shirts from a selection in store, with the store associate then retrieving a fresh shirt for purchase.

With a large volume of SKUs, Untuckit needs to ensure it is stocking the right number of garments in each SKU, based on demand.

The pilot at Untuckit's recently opened Fifth Avenue, New York store will give managers visibility into merchandise movement, to better determine customer demand.

Working with Sato Global Solutions, tiny RFID tags placed on the "try-on" shirts will collect real-time data on merchandise movement from showroom to fitting room (and back).

Using a combination of the chip data, overhead traffic counters from RetailNext and POS data, sales managers can identify which shirts (exact sizes and styles) are being tried on and purchased, allowing the retailer to continue to improve customer service in their stores.

This data sheds light on which SKUs are bestsellers so store managers can optimise inventory levels in real time based on shopper behaviour.

It also suggests which sizes or styles can be reduced in volume due to low demand, reducing inventory cost and allowing for Untuckit to redirect investment towards more popular SKUs, or new offerings.

"Having visibility into shopper behaviour is just one way we create a better experience in our physical stores. It allows us to meet expectations and retain customer loyalty," says Chris Riccobono, Untuckit founder and executive chairman.

"Moving from e-tail to multi-channel has its challenges, but we've found that our online experience helps us apply digital strategies to our physical stores and reimagine retail in a way that other traditional retailers are not yet even considering."

Beacon-based traffic counters from RetailNext will allow the retailer to accurately count, observe and measure the traffic paths of shoppers and store associates. They can also gather data on when shopper-associate interactions occur, how often, in what duration, and how they impact shopper behavior.

"When people ask about examples of IoT in retail, I talk about this pilot. We have the ability to "upgrade" the physical store in a way that captures the same kind of data we get during online interactions," said Keith Sherry, COO of Sato Global Solutions.

"Retailers looking to compete in brick-and-mortar have more tools than ever to understand shopper behavior. The key is then applying these insights to align the customer experience with expectations across all channels."

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