“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” the show debuted on Netflix on New Year’s Day; since then, many people have focused on cleaning out their homes. Even if you already know this, or watch the show yourself, I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with an Accucode blog… So, here it goes:

First things first: “ROBarT” stands for Retail Operations Barcoding Terminal. This system is a combination hardware and software solution that allows this nationally-known second-hand store’s “Retail Merchandise Processors” to print price tags and labels for donated items. Important to note: barcodes contain a lot of information other than price!

Prior to the creation of ROBarT, all donated items were manually priced at the front end by the same cashiers that checked buyers out.  Even though cashiers were trained on how much items should cost, there were plenty of opportunities for pricing errors. 

By moving all pricing decisions to the back room, the nationwide chain of second-hand stores hoped to achieve the following benefits:

  • Decrease the amount of time to ring up items on the front end.
  • Increase pricing accuracy.
  • Automate discounts of items based on number of weeks on the sales floor.
  • Automate the collection of data about where donations came from and how much product was put on the sales floor.

The first week after the show’s debut, donations around the country at local second-hand stores increased 40% over the same period last year. More donations means a larger supply and range of items available to shoppers. ROBarT helps the chain of secondhand stores understand how long merchandise has been on the floor, which in turn helps them make decisions about how long to leave certain items out. Where do these items go you ask? For those items that don’t sell, they are put into a recovery flow where they are either sold to recyclers or for textile. It’s a process of reselling goods and recycling!

Accucode has been working with one of these nationwide stores in Central Arizona for 5 years to build a “RoBarT” system, which allows them to barcode all donations placed on the sales floor, tag garments, and label household or sporting goods. The Central AZ location is currently hosting the RoBarT system and they look at Accucode as their “go-to” vendor for all hardware and media. For five years, the RoBarT system has solved a retail problem for one of the top nationwide secondhand retailers;  in the future, our consultants and experts hope to expand this system nationwide to help stores tidy up using the best of modern technology suited to each location’s needs.