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Retailers Take a New Approach to Addressing Out-of-Stocks

Integrated. Intelligent. Insightful.

Part 2 in a three-part series.

In Part 1 of this discussion on how retailers can reduce out-of-stocks and improve merchandise availability, we discussed the new market realities facing retailers, including tighter margins, shifting shopper behavior and the need for hyper-accurate inventory availability status. In this installment, we cover how innovative retailers are taking an integrated, intelligent and insightful approach to addressing issues related to inventory management and shrink management in a cohesive manner, often using RFID technology to achieve their most important goals.

Bringing Together Inventory and Shrink Management to Improve Merchandise Availability and Enhance the Shopper Experience

Retailers have sought to balance the need to secure high-theft items with their desire to keep those items on display for customers, rather than locked away in cabinets or in other defensive merchandising tactics, which discourage consumers from shopping and leads to lost sales. The desire for secure, “open merchandising” solutions has led to the development of innovative high-theft packaging solutions such as Keepers, CableLoks and SpiderWraps, as well as attractive, yet secure, display merchandising solutions for electronics and other high-ticket items.

Retail stores, like nearly all businesses, have become increasingly complex from an operations standpoint. Information is created, captured, shared, analyzed and reported at numerous locations in the store, from the receiving dock to the exit doors and everywhere in between. Stores also are looking to connect to their supply chains to better control inventory flow and improve on-shelf availability. As a result, all the issues and challenges associated with maintaining in-store inventory aren’t contained in a single work function or computer application. For instance, many retailers’ inventory management systems aren’t tightly tied to back-office financial applications and supply chain management, or to systems that track theft events and even visitor counting. This is changing, however, as retailers look for greater integration of their operational applications. Read more.

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