Lululemon leverages RAIN RFID, supplier relationships to manage inventory amid coronavirus demand drop

Dive Brief:

  • Lululemon will maintain operations in “key e-commerce DCs” with social-distancing and health monitoring measures in place, as well as restaffing some stores to fulfill e-commerce orders starting this week, executives said on an earnings call Friday. The retailer’s North American and European stores have been closed since March 16.
  • Previous investments in RFID inventory tracking will enable the flexible e-commerce fulfillment model and allow Lululemon to proactively manage inventory trough this indefinite, dramatic drop in consumer demand, executives said. “Our technology with the use of RFID we can access product at any point across our network, not just DCs but at our stores as well from ship from store,” said CEO Calvin McDonald.​ “So it allows us to just regulate demand that we are seeing today online.”
  • The retailer will push back supplier orders when necessary to keep inventory appropriately low. “We have flexibility with regard to our fall and winter 2020 receipts and where appropriate can push out or reduce our buy orders,” CFO Patrick Guido said.
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