Macy's Inc. is looking to get its stores to start using radio-frequency identification technology sooner rather than later so that the company can manage its inventories better.
The technology, known as RFID, will be used to help count items that are considered "replenishment goods," which are items that are regularly stocked and automatically resupplied when sold to shoppers. These goods can include items such as clothing and shoes.
Macy's, which runs its namesake stores and Bloomingdale's locations, said Wednesday that it plans to use RFID in all of its stores across the U.S. by the third quarter of 2012. All of the stores are expected to be able to track in-stock replenishment goods by size, color and style using RFID.
Macy's Chief Administrative Officer Tom Cole said in a statement on Wednesday that RFID will help make sure that the department store chain has "the right product in the right place at the right time."
Improving the inventory management of replenishment goods is important to Macy's because these items make up about 30 percent of its sales. The company says it will concentrate on items such as denim, women's shoes, and men's furnishing during the initial launch of the RFID technology next year.
Aside from the tracking of these goods, RFID will also allow Macy's to do multiple inventory counts throughout the year as opposed to its current practice of doing one physical inventory count a year.
Macy's, which has corporate offices in New York and Cincinnati, said it has been testing RFID for almost two years at some of its stores and distribution centers.
Macy's runs about 850 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. It also has four Bloomingdale's Outlet stores. Two days ago the company announced that it plans to hire more workers for this year's holiday season as it anticipates strong sales for the critical period.
The retailer's stock added 31 cents to $27.49 in morning trading.