We have all been shopping for shoes and had to ask the person behind the counter if they have the size we need only to see them disappear into the back for an eternity only to come back out and say they are out of your size. Walmart, JC Penney, and Macy’s are all working toward implementing a new system that will eliminate that wait to see if your size is in stock.
The three major retailers are working towards using item level UHF RFID tags that will allow the workers to know at a glance at the computer what is in stock. ABI Research says that these passive UHF RFID ILT (item level tagging) tags will help push RFID use in the commercial market to three quarters of a billion in use on the market.
The RFID tags can also be used for security as well to help stop theft. RFID in shoes is nice, but I will really get excited when a grocery store can tag everything so my cart is totaled as soon as I walk up to the register. “RFID systems allow apparel retailers to get a better handle on inventory, reducing costs and preventing out of stock situations that result in loss of sales,” says ABI Research principal analyst Bill Arnold. “The growth in retail item-level tagging is huge, both in shipments and in total spending. The average growth rate is close to 60% for the next three years. In fact, the number of tags that will be used for retail ILT in apparel alone is likely to exceed the total number consumed over the past five years for all RFID markets combined.”