Tesco buys thousands of RFID tags

Retail giant Tesco is set for the largest deployment of radio frequency identification tags yet seen in the UK.

Tesco has bought 4,000 radio frequency identification (RFID) readers and 16,000 antennas from ADT Security Services, and plans to begin rolling out the devices in May 2005.

The tags will be deployed throughout 1,300 Tesco supermarkets and across 35 distribution centres in the UK. RFID readers will be fitted onto dock doors and merchandise receipt points, and will be used to trace containers of goods rather than individual items.

RFID tags are small chips that use radio waves to communicate with designated readers, increasing the ability for retailers to track items through the supply chain.

“ADT successfully came up with the solution that meets the specific requirements of our supply chain, and we have been extremely impressed with the trials run to date,” said Colin Cobain, Tesco’s IT director. “Their pan-European capabilities are also key to meeting our ambitious rollout plans of fitting 1,300 stores by the end of September,” he added

The three-year contract follows on a 15-year relationship between Tesco and Tyco Fire &Security, of which ADT Security Services is a subsidiary. Under the terms, ADT will be Tesco’s exclusive supplier of RFID readers and antennae. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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