Do You Have This In a Size 10? If Not, We Just Ordered It!
I have always been fascinated with RFID tags, which were in the news today as I read every word of the WSJ. Hell, I was on a plane and there was nothing else to read, then I had a three-hour delay. Wal-Mart has big plans to put the tags on every single pair of jeans and every stereo they sell…and it will soon have a big impact on how they stock their stores and for retailing in general. Prices are expected to drop to less than 10 cents each.
A few years ago, the story said, American Apparel put the tags on their clothing. Each shirt and each pair of pants had a tag…so when they ran out of a certain size, it was a quick scan to reorder what was needed. Sales climbed 14% compared to stores that don’t use the tags. With results like this, it will catch on fast!
Privacy groups are worried that bad people will scan shopper’s trash. Then they could pick out the tags that still work, and find out what the people in that house bought. Another group fears that Wal-Mart will have scanners built into their stores so they can get a picture of what people do when they walk around the stores. At one time the tags were actually embedded into the clothes, but now the giant retailer will subsidize manufacturers so that they have removable labels with the tags on them.
But for the RFID industry, the future is bright, and the ‘magic will happen,” said Bill Hargrave, who researches the tags at the University of Arkansas, partly funded by Wal-Mart. “We are going to see contact-less checkouts with mobile phones or kiosks and people will be able to find out whether other colors and sizes are available while trying on something in the dressing room.”