Decathlon Group, founded in 1976, is a French retailing company and famous for selling sports equipment. Currently, the company has more than 1,647 stores in 57 countries, making it the most significant sports equipment retailing company in the world. The Decathlon has become the largest sports storage spot because of the presence of enhanced inventory technologies and tactics. The idea of tagging the items based on RFID technology adopted by Decathlon stores to manage and secure their inventory.
The company covers all the equipment related to surfing, camping, swimming, hiking & trekking, kayak, fitness, road cycling, stand up paddle (SUP) and much more. With such an extensive collection of sports gear, sports shoes, and sports equipment, the retailers hold RFID technology to give every product a tag. Products attached with RFID tags are used to identify them from manufacturing to the distribution center and from distribution to stores.
Inside the supplier department of Decathlon, workers equip RFID tags to items and exploit RFID scanners/interrogators to record shipping items moving to the distribution centers.
Decathlon and Tageos
Now, when products arrive at the distribution department of Decathlon, distributors read the tags through portable scanners and fix tags to those items that don’t have product ID. On similar lines, Decathlon exploits Tageos for non-Decathlon products.
The Tageos based on RFID technology deals with paper-based passive UHF RFID labels for item-level tagging of goods and items. Reduced costs and certified performance of these tags enable business enterprises such as Decathlon to tag assets irrespective of different sizes and shapes.
As per the case study of Decathlon, Tageos designs specific label (54×34 mm/2.13×1.34 in) to match Decathlon product requirements. The backing sheet of the double-side sticker has a standard EOS-300 and a non-RFID blank sticker that helps the staff to print some virtual data on it.
Finally, staff in the Decathlon stores receive all the sports equipment housed with RFID tags containing unique identifiers and stock-keeping unit (SKU), which supports them to organize products on shelves and fill the inventory sections.
Reasons Decathlon Use RFID Technology
Approximately over 85% of Decathlon products are equipped with RFID tags and read by interrogators. On one side, Decathlon uses RFID technology to complete their inventories from supplier to retailing store then on the other side, RFID technology also helps the Decathlon company to bring visibility in the checkout process. The customers put the shopping bags on the checkout table, where RFID scanners automatically identify the products. The entire process saves time both for staff at counter and customers waiting in the queue.
Embracement of RFID technology in the retailing store means that there’s no need to take worry and stress about stolen products. RFID technology ensures the anti-theft mechanism in the store wherein products without RFID tags are detected at the exit door. Therefore, if the customers didn’t buy RFID tags, the store will be notified with the alarm immediately.
Decathlon company has become a top-notching sports equipment industry by adopting an RFID mechanism for inventory management. Whether it is a matter of fast inventory process, self-checkout necessity, clear visibility of products, or shelf availability, RFID technology has emerged as a winning technology to deliver all these benefits for retailing companies such as Decathlon. The company has experienced a reduction in labour efforts, salaries, improvement in sales, revenues, products availability and customer satisfaction through RFID.