In 2003, Walmart took a chance on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and has been very successfully using RFID to manage apparel inventory ever since. Walmart has measured the benefits of using the technology to battle shrinkage and to keep accurate inventory of their apparel items, and is now looking to expand their RFID requirements to include the following new categories:
- Sporting Goods
- Automotive Batteries
This new requirement means that by September 2, 2022, all suppliers that sell to Walmart with items in one of the above categories, must include RAIN RFID tags on all items or packaging.
Walmart’s original goal when the retail giant first decided to implement RFID was to improve sales and customer satisfaction by addressing issues with inaccurate stock numbers. Although implementing RFID took longer than originally planned, Walmart eventually saw success, which is why they have decided to expand their RFID requirements.
Using RFID to manage apparel inventory at Walmart has not only increased inventory accuracy and reduced shrinkage, but also improved their customer experience as well. RAIN RFID has allowed Walmart to have near real-time location of the items available at their stores, allowing better, more accurate fulfillment options like ‘buy online, pick up in store’ and ‘curbside pickup’. All of this is made possible by the drop in price of UHF RFID tags by 80% since the first Walmart mandates, as well as the increased sensitivity and accuracy of RFID technology. Tags have dropped in cost from between 8 to 11 cents in large volumes to 3 to 5 cents in large volumes and the increase in accuracy from 95% read rates to near 100% read rates for most applications. To read more about how much RFID has improved checkout our article - RFID Failed You in the Past? It May Have Improved More Than You Think.
More RFID adoption is likely ahead for Walmart, Shelly McDougal, Walmart’s senior director of merchandising says. "We look forward to expanding the technology into more categories," she adds, "to further improve inventory accuracy across the business, provide a better in-store shopping experience for customers, and drive more online and pick-up-in-store capabilities." RFIDJournal.com
To learn more about Walmart's currently method for tagging apparel/garment's with RFID tags, checkout the image below!
For more information on Walmart’s RFID initiatives and history, checkout our article - Walmart and RFID: The Relationship that put RFID on the Map