Under Armour opens inventory visibility with RFID

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Under Armour is deploying RFID to better track in-store stock.

Under Armour Inc. is making a major technological effort to achieve accurate stock visibility in its stores.

The athletic apparel company is deploying the Nedap iD Cloud RFID-based inventory visibility platform throughout 400 of its owned and operated stores across the globe. The objective of the first phase of the company’s RFID rollout is to lay a scalable foundation, both operationally and technologically, for the program and to achieve accurate stock visibility in Under Armour retail stores.

As a result, Under Armour intends to obtain optimized item availability and efficiency gains in key day-to-day processes. The objectives for future phases of RFID are to enhance Under Armour’s real-time view of inventory in stores are to further drive operational efficiencies, leverage RFID to drive innovation in consumer experiences, and identify opportunities to leverage RFID across the company’s entire supply chain.

More specifically, Under Armour seeks to create a more seamless and connected shopping experience across all of its consumer touchpoints. By achieving a higher level of inventory visibility with RFID tracking, as well as more tightly aligning its demand and supply planning functions and continuing to make investments in channel-agnostic technology, Under Armour intends to deliver a seamless customer experience. In addition, the company intends to leverage RFID to make stronger data-driven decisions to drive more profitable sell-through across its retail enterprise.

According to Under Armour, it selected Nedap iD Cloud due to the scalability of the solution, ease of use of the interface, and Nedap’s global scope of operation.

The company has been making broader efforts to overhaul its enterprise infrastructure. Recently, Under Armour deployed Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider for SAP. The company completed the migration of its SAP environments to AWS earlier this year, seeking to provide a foundation for improving performance and visibility across its design, merchandising, planning, manufacturing, supply chain, and sales distribution channels. Under Armour will now integrate its SAP environments with AWS’s set of technologies, including analytics, machine learning, compute, and storage.

“At Under Armour, we are focused on growing our direct-to-consumer (DTC) distribution channels,” said Bob Neville, VP of global retail at Under Armour. “With that in mind, it is crucial that we invest in solutions that will improve the experience of our target consumer, the ‘Focused Performer,’ when shopping at Under Armour. We don’t see RFID as a ‘nice to have,’ we see it as vital to bringing the retail experience to the next level. We are excited to partner with Nedap to bring this to life in our stores around the world.”

“We are proud to be selected by Under Armour as their global RFID partner. What started as a collaboration on RFID-based loss prevention a few years ago, has grown and intensified towards a strong partnership. Our common objective is to make merchandise simply available and eventually build a supply chain that moves flexibly with changing consumer behavior,” said Oscar van den Broek, managing director at Nedap Retail.  “We are a perfect fit with Under Armour’s unique approach, truly crossing boundaries in modern retailing.”