Retailers Pushing RFID, Others Scrapping Plans

Apr 20, 2004

By George Anderson

Home Depot, Metro, Target, Tesco, Wal-Mart and others may be pushing ahead with programs to test and implement radio frequency identification technology (RFID) but a survey from
Meta Group says corporate investment in the technology will drop next year.

Computer Weekly, citing the Meta Group research, reports, “About 50% of all radio frequency identification tagging pilot projects conducted worldwide have already been
written off as failures and most of the rest have yielded indifferent results.”

The Meta Group points out, however, it doesn’t see this apparent reluctance to move ahead with RFID as a death knell for the technology.

Will Cappelli, a Meta Group analyst, said, “Although the current dampening of expectations surrounding RFID is a natural reaction to the almost
hysterical enthusiasm that characterized discussions of this technology during the first half of 2003, organizations should still prepare for RFID’s pervasiveness in the longer

“By 2008, we anticipate that approximately 30% of manufactured capital goods will be RFID-enabled, with that percentage growing to 80% by 2013,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree with Meta Group’s assessment of the failure rate of test programs? What would explain
why the tests are failing or companies are unable to determine tangible results?
Anderson – Moderator

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