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Zara adding RFID tags to all garments to enable faster stock control

Fast fashion retailer Zara is set to make its supply chain even speedier thanks to the addition of a new inventory tracking system.

The Inditex-owned store is putting radio frequency identity (RFID) tags into all of its garments, allowing them to be traced from factory to point of sale.

The initiative will improve inventory management by rapidly highlighting pieces and sizes that need restocking, reports Reuters. It will also enhance things like security and customer service – the system will make it possible to identify whether a particular item is available in a certain size or not, or whether online or a nearby store has it instead, for instance.

“[The] implementation of this next-generation technology is one of the most significant changes in how the group’s stores operate,” said Inditex chairman and chief executive Pablo Isla during the company’s annual general meeting.

He said the chip system is already in place in 700 of the company’s more than 6,300 stores (that portfolio includes other brands such as Massimo Dutti and Bershka). It will roll out to a further 500 per year from here on out, with plans for Zara specifically to have it in all stores worldwide by 2016.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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