Home » Canadian Wal-Marts Implement RFID to Eliminate Out-of-Stocks
With 20 stores equipped with RFID readers and a dozen suppliers
tagging shipments of goods bound for those stores, Wal-Mart Canada’s recent RFID
deployment is up and running, said Nicole O’Connor, director of the
organization’s information systems division, at the opening keynote of the
second annual RFID Journal LIVE! Canada conference in Toronto, Ontario. And
while the scope of Wal-Mart Canada’s RFID deployment is dwarfed by that of its
U.S. parent company, it doesn’t mean the technology’s potential impact on the
278-store Canadian chain is insignificant.
“We’ve done some estimates into what the impact [of adopting
RFID] would be to Wal-Mart globally, and it’s in the millions of dollars,”
O’Connor told attendees. “Wal-Mart Canada is focused on using RFID technology to
eliminate product out-of-stocks as an initial area of benefit.”
Each RFID-equipped Canadian Wal-Mart store is now reading tagged
cases of product moving through its loading docks, as the cases are brought onto
and off the sales floors, and as the empty cases are placed into box crushers.
In addition, some of the dozen suppliers involved in the RFID implementation are
tagging the displays used for showcasing promotional products, to improve
visibility into whether the displays are being moved to the sales floor
according to schedule.
Thus far, O’Connor indicated, the equipment is performing well,
with a 99.5 percent read rate since the stores began reading tags this summer.
While the company has not yet gathered definitive data regarding out-of-stock
reductions or sales lift based on its RFID use, it has seen a 42 percent
reduction in manual orders placed by store associates across the 20 stores using
RFID, according to Michael Vitalei, Wal-Mart Canada’s RFID strategy manager.
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