Can RFID Succeed in Supermarkets?

April 4, 2013 Joey McFarland

Can RFID Succeed in Supermarkets?

Retailers around the world are improving store operations, increasing inventory accuracy, reducing shrinkage and more with item-level RFID tagging. Can supermarkets achieve these same benefits by adopting RFID? European retailers have been piloting the technology since 2003 and have seen promising results. Continue reading for some RFID success stories in the grocery industry.

RFID Ensures Food Freshness

Germany’s METRO Group, one of the world’s largest retailers, launched its Real Future Store in 2008 with RFID-enabled Smart Freezers in the butchery.  By continually monitoring the “best before” date for meat packages, the technology ensures product freshness, increased customer safety and efficiently managed inventory.

A pilot project in Italy showed that tracking products with UHF RFID tags was an effective way to manage inventory on store shelves.  Stores gained visibility into when shelves of products needed to be restocked, thus reducing overstocking and ultimately improving food freshness.

Russia’s Future Store, a joint venture project from X5 Retail Group, Rusnano and Sitronics, has piloted an item-level RFID solution for supermarkets.  The system includes smart shelves for goods monitoring, point of sale (POS) terminals for self-checkout, and exit gates for security, all powered by Impinj Speedway Revolution RFID readers.  Future Store found RFID effectively managed inventory and product expiration dates and improved efficiency at checkout.

It’s clear that supermarkets stand to gain business benefits with RFID. As cost of the technology continues to drop, expect to see more deployments in this industry.

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