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