Marks & Spencer has confirmed that it will use radio frequency identification tags on in-store items across 120 shops nationwide by the middle of May, as it steps up its use of the technology to improve in-store stock levels.
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Forty-two stores are currently using the tags, in what is already the world's biggest item-level use of RFID. Since the project began at the beginning of 2006, Marks & Spencer has tagged 49 million items of clothing.
Once RFID tagging is established in all 120 stores, the retailer intends to expand the range of items it tags from six clothing types to 13.
Although Marks & Spencer has never quantified the effect of tagging on its sales, chief executive Stuart Rose named RFID as one of the initiatives that have led to the retailer's recovery.
In its last set of financial results, M&S reported sales for the six months to the end of September of £3.9bn, up 11% on the same period in 2005.
It currently tags men's suits, men's trousers, men's jackets, women's casual trousers, women's skirts and women's suits.
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