Wal-Mart Begins Roll-Out of Electronic Product Codes in Dallas/Fort Worth

Eight manufacturers participating in first phase of implementing radio frequency identification technology at the case and pallet level


As a charter member of EPCglobal, Wal-Mart says it fully adheres to its core principles related to privacy issues, including consumer notice, consumer education and consumer choice. EPC education pamphlets will be available to interested parties at Dallas/Fort Worth area stores. Consumers may choose to retain or remove RFID tags after purchasing the tagged HP products.

Wal-Mart's Linda Dillman and HP's Dick Lampman serve on the board of directors of EPCglobal.

Wal-Mart stores already feature signage notifying consumers that electronic tagging systems unrelated to EPC are in use for theft prevention measures. During the initial RFID test, Dallas/Fort Worth area Wal-Mart pilot stores will feature supplemental signage to help customers further identify the tagged HP products. These signs, featuring an EPCglobal symbol, will be placed at relevant shelf and/or aisle locations, Wal-Mart said.

The remaining 18 products that will be delivered to the store in tagged cases or pallets for the test, but that will not be tagged individually on the shelf, include various brands of paper towels, lotion, cat food, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, laundry detergent, deodorant, shaving cream, soap, toothpaste and peanuts.

Wal-Mart, which is number one on the Fortune 500 listing, with $258 billion in revenues, operates Wal-Mart stores, "supercenters," "neighborhood markets" and SAM'S CLUB locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as in Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina and South Korea. In Texas alone, Wal-Mart employs more than 130,000 "associates" and operates 92 Wal-Mart discount stores, 196 "supercenters," 26 neighborhood markets, 69 SAM'S CLUB locations and 12 distribution centers.

For more information on trends relating to RFID, see the following SDCExec.com articles:

For more information on the use of RFID solutions in the supply chain, see "Needle in a Supply Chain Haystack," the Net Best Thing column in the January 2002 issue of (now ) magazine.
For more information on Procter & Gamble's initiatives around the electronic product code, see "What's Still Missing in B2B?," cover story in the June/July 2003 issue of , for views on this issue from Procter & Gamble Chief Information Officer Stephen David.
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