While Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has gotten most of the headlines here in the U.S. for the radio frequency identification (RFID) initiative it launched in January 2005, German retail giant METRO Group has been using the technology at two Metro Cash & Carry stores, five Galeria Kaufhof department stores and 11 Real hypermarkets as well as several distribution centers since November 2004.
“The first interim balance of the roll-out after roughly 100 days is largely positive,” says Zygmunt Mierdorf, a member of METRO’s management team. Despite some early problems the results obtained so far are extremely gratifying, he notes. More than 90% of reusable transport packages have been read correctly. For hanging goods and stackable goods conveyors the reading rate event is at 99%.
"We expect a further improvement in the reading accuracy from the Gen 2 chips that will be available from mid-2005,” Mierdorf adds. “These tags offer enhanced performance, are cheaper to produce and include additional functions.”
In late 2005 METRO Group will start the second phase of its comprehensive rollout of RFID and provide all boxes with the Gen 2 chips.