Partnership Simplifies and Enhances Overall Customer Experience at The Bon-Ton Stores

Lisa Celebre, vice president store operations at The Bon-Ton Stores, told Loyalty360 that simplifying the process was one of the reasons the company partnered with Zebra Technologies Corporation, a market leader in mobile computers, scanners, and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility solutions.

By replacing its manual, paper-based process with Zebra’s MC3190-Z RFID handheld reader, Bon-Ton store associates can fully restock merchandise displays in a fraction of the time, increasing productivity and allowing associates to spend more time servicing shoppers.

The Bon-Ton Stores operates Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers stores.

“We wanted to improve display compliance in areas where a single or multiple samples is displayed as a representation of an available product, general style, color, and size is driven,” Celebre explained. “This type of merchandising requires daily recovery and replenishment of display items, primarily shoes and luggage. Existing processes were manual and time-consuming. We wanted to simplify the process, make it more efficient and accurate through system support and automation to better service our customers.”

Celebre talked about how the partnership with enhancing the overall customer engagement and customer experience levels.

“Improving display compliance ensures that our full merchandise assortment in these categories are on the sale floor and available to the customers at all times,” she said. “Having the ability to obtain faster insight into what is missing from the sales floor allows us to have a quicker turnaround in getting the merchandise back on display. As result, customers have access to Bon-Ton’s full merchandise assortments and more options every time they shop our stores.”

Here are some results from the partnership:

Today, associates in more than 180 Bon-Ton retail department stores use Zebra’s easy-to-use MC3190-Z RFID handheld readers on a daily basis to streamline the display compliance process and know with certainty that all available merchandise is on display.

As soon as associates arrive in the morning, they scan the selling floor using the MC3190-Z readers to compare items on display against on-hand inventories, helping them identify missing items that should be on the sales floor.

Store audits revealed that with the previously used manual system, up to 20 percent of merchandise in certain categories might be missing from the sales floor during a given week, resulting in missed sales opportunities.
The RFID inventory system provides Bon-Ton with deeper visibility into what merchandise is available at all times. It dramatically increases inventory management efficiencies by allowing store associates to scan and tag new merchandise as it first arrives in-store so it can be immediately placed on display, leading to quicker item availability for shoppers and increased sales.

Celebre said that more customers are now shopping online and have access to thousands of products that they can order from their home or mobile devices.

“When a customer comes to our store to see and try on the product, it is essential that we have our full assortment of fresh new products on display during every visit,” she added. “Leveraging RFID technology to track and update inventory quickly will enable Bon-Ton to provide a great selection and shopping experience for customers every day.”

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