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:
- Forget the 5 Cent RFID Tag! (April 9, 2004)
- Beware RFID Hype, Analysts Warn (February 13, 2004)
- Manufacturing and Banking Industries to Lead U.S. IT Spending in 2004 (February 12, 2004)
- RFID Integration Services Set for Rise (February 4, 2004)
- Retail Spending on RFID Seen Rising in "Fits and Spurts" (January 8, 2004)
- Retailers to See More RFID Benefits Than Manufacturers Study (November 12, 2003)
- Global RFID Market to be $3 Billion by 2007 (October 1, 2003)
- RFID: Beyond Barcodes (September 3, 2003)
- Who's Buying RFID? (August 22, 2003)
- RFID Picks Up Momentum (July 9, 2003)
- Broader RFID Adoption Seen by 2005 (June 16, 2003)
- Benetton: No RFID Tags in Garments...Yet (April 9, 2003)
- Auto-ID Could Save Billions (February 6, 2003)