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Uniqlo operator to use IC tags at all outlets worldwide

Fast Retailing looks to streamline checkout and stock control

IC tags will be introduced at all of Fast Retailing's 3,000 stores.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Fast Retailing, operator of casual clothing chain Uniqlo, will introduce IC tags at all its outlets worldwide within a year, President and Chairman Tadashi Yanai told The Nikkei.

The retailer will be Japan's first to use the tags on a global basis.

IC tags will save time for payment and inventory control, allowing the company to swiftly increase production of hot-selling products. The tags will also lessen checkout times, ensure that items are in stock, and provide other benefits.

Fast Retailing will introduce the tags at all of its approximately 3,000 stores, including Uniqlo's 2,000 outlets, both at home and overseas. Initial investment is estimated at several tens of billions of yen.

The move is aimed at better coping with the demands of Amazon.com and other e-tailers, which have boosted their presence in the apparel industry. 

Becuase IC tags read information automatically and wirelessly, they can save more on labor and inventory costs compared to bar codes, which require manual operation. The tags can instantly and accurately gather detailed information on volume, size and color.

In addition, IC tags take only one-tenth the time to inspect products as some systems currently in use.

The company will use the tags to obtain detailed sales information analyze consumer behavior, such as when products are handled by consumers and returned to shelves, as well as when and where products are sold.

(Nikkei)

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