Fashion Company Zara Uses RFID to Improve Services

November 5, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. enterprise /ˈɛn tərˌpraɪz/ (n.) – a commercialized business
Example: He is the president of the biggest designer-shoes enterprise in the country.

2. chip /tʃɪp/ (n.) – a small electronic device used for tracking
Example: The police was able to locate the thief who stole from the store using the chips on the stolen items.

3. account for /əˈkaʊnt fɔr/ (idiom) – to know the condition and/or location of something or someone
Example: Being the manager of the store, she accounts for all her employees. 

4. win-win /ˈwɪnˈwɪn/ (adj.) – referring to something that is advantageous to two parties
Example: Sale days are win-win for both the store, which will sell more items, and the customers, who will get big discounts.

5. parent company /ˈpɛər ənt, ˈpær- ˈkʌm pə ni/ (n.) – a company that owns and has financial control over subsidiary companies
Example: The store had to cut back in staff because the parent company demands it.


Read the text below.
Fashion enterprise Zara [ZAHR-uhItalian DZAH-rah] will be using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in all its retail stores to improve its system and services for both employees and customers.

The RFID system allows a faster and more efficient inventory tracking system. All items in the store can therefore be easily tracked through a chip inserted in the item’s security tag. Each RFID chip has its own radio frequency, making it possible for items to be individually accounted for. And because the RFID chips are environmentally friendly, they can be reused and recycled. 

Using the RFID systems proves to be a win-win situation for both customers and employees. Because the inventory tracking system is automated, employees will be kept informed which items are in stock and which need restocking. Furthermore, the system immediately alerts the store about items that are out of stock. Hence, making an inventory will be easier.

The system is also a useful service to customers as it can provide information on the available sizes in each store. Should a size be unavailable in a certain store, the system could inform customers of the locations of other stores that have their size. Once an item is purchased, however, the RFID chips can no longer track the item as the security tag will be removed.

Inditex [IN-dee TEK-s], the parent company of Zara, began testing RFID systems in Zara stores in 2013. At present, 700 Zara stores from around the world are benefiting from the RFID systems. In July, Inditex announced its goal to install the system in every Zara store worldwide in two years.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you want the clothing stores in your country to use RFID systems? Why or why not?
·         What other stores would RFID systems be useful in?

Discussion B

·         If you were to invent your own tracking system, what would you use it for? Discuss your answer.
·         How else can tracking systems be useful to stores? 

November 5, 2014