Stadium deploys SML RFID tracking

  • January 18, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Swedish sports retailer Stadium has deployed item-level RFID technology, RFID tags and enterprise software from Texas-based SML.

SML’s Inspire RFID tags and Clarity enterprise software are improving inventory management and customer service.

Launching in 2018 with an initial pilot project, the partnership has seen the full deployment of item-level RFID technology across 180 Stadium retail stores in the Nordics, allowing the brand to count its stock in every store weekly, instead of its previous once a year stock count.

Stadium is also using the RFID-enhanced receiving and sales floor replenishment features within Clarity. As a result, Stadium has seen an increase in inventory accuracy from 70 to 99 per cent, resulting in improvements in business performance across the chain.

“Before RFID, we had an unrealistic view of our inventory levels,” said Johan Stenström, supply chain developer at Stadium. “Due to our once-a-year inventory count and existing ERP software that didn’t track lost, stolen or damaged inventory, we thought our inventory accuracy was nearly perfect when it was actually around 70 per cent.”

With the help of SML, Stadium launched an RFID pilot project in two of its Stockholm stores. The pilot proved so successful that Stadium began rolling the technology out to all of its stores and distribution centres, as well as beginning source and distribution centre tagging.

“We implemented Clarity in our stores to really help our personnel,” said Stenström. “The enthusiasm about using the technology was so palpable that other stores started calling us to move up their go-live dates.”

Having completed the full deployment at the end of 2021, Stadium has now implemented SML’s item-level RFID technology across 180 stores, using RFID tags, Zebra handheld RFID readers and the Clarity software suite. Stadium boasts a 99 per cent inventory accuracy level and has seen a significant increase in sales across the board.

“After several years of working with the Stadium team, we’re thrilled at the results they have seen in their business,” said Dean Frew, chief technology officer at SML. “As we have witnessed with Stadium, item-level RFID technology is a proven technology that can completely revolutionise the way retailers look at inventory management and fulfil customers’ needs. We look forward to continuing to support Stadium on its digital transformation journey.”

With a presence in over 30 countries, SML is an end-to-end RFID and brand identification provider, delivering results and rapid RoIs to retailing brands. It offers Inspire and EcoInspire labelling and packaging products, RFID tags and encoding services across industries. Its proprietary software Clarity is an item-level RFID offering that is engineered and deployment-proven for vertical retailers and brand owners with stores.

Since it was founded in 1974 by Ulf Eklöf in Norrköping, Stadium has become one of Europe’s leading sports retailers and remains family-owned. Its two brands, Stadium and Stadium Outlet, are sold through almost 180 stores in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The company has 3500 employees and a revenue of SEK7bn.