Supermarkets Improve Store Operations with RAIN RFID


April 4, 2013

Supermarkets face challenges with store management, warehousing, product freshness, and customer loyalty. Inventory shrinkage due to inadequate store operations and procedures is also a constant problem.

RFID in supermarkets

Retailers around the world are improving store operations, increasing inventory accuracy, reducing shrinkage and more with item-level monitoring using RAIN RFID. Retailers have been piloting the technology since 2003 and have seen promising results. Now, supermarkets are achieving these same benefits by adopting RAIN RFID.

Supermarkets across the world, from the US to Russia are now implementing RAIN RFID to create smart stores. The technology at work is actually simple:

  • Tiny, low-cost chips, like the Impinj Monza line, are affixed to the items you want to track—from cartons to grocery baskets
  • These tagged items are read by scanners as they pass through checkpoints, like loading docks, check-outs, or shelving units

The information picked up by readers is sent to those who need it, from the customer paying for their groceries, to supermarket managers who need to make decisions in real-time.

Supermarkets and Shoppers Reap Benefits with RAIN RFID

Since implementing RAIN RFID technology, participating supermarkets have achieved higher accuracy in inventory management, better monitoring of product freshness and improved efficiency at checkout:

  • Efficient inventory management improves customer safety
    Germany’s METRO Group, one of the world’s largest retailers, launched its Real Future Store in 2008 with RAIN RFID-enabled Smart Freezers in the butchery.  By continually monitoring the “best before” date for meat packages, the technology improved product freshness, increased customer safety and enabled staff to efficiently manage inventory.
  • Higher visibility reduces overstocking
    A pilot project in Italy showed that tracking products with RAIN RFID was an effective way to manage inventory on store shelves.  Stores gained visibility into when shelves of products needed to be restocked, thus reducing overstocking, increasing on-shelf availability and ultimately improving food freshness.
  • Smart store leads to higher efficiency at checkout
    Russia’s Future Store, a joint venture project from X5 Retail Group, Rusnano and Sitronics, piloted a RAIN RFID solution for supermarkets.  The system included smart shelves for goods monitoring, point of sale (POS) terminals for self-checkout, and exit gates for security, all utilizing the Impinj platform.  Future Store found RAIN RFID improved their effectiveness in managing inventory and product expiration dates and improved efficiency at checkout.

It’s clear that supermarkets stand to gain business benefits with RFID. As cost of the technology continues to drop, expect to see more deployments in this industry.

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Impinj (NASDAQ: PI) wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, and automobile parts to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, and asset tracking. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely information about these items to the digital world, thereby enabling the Internet of Things.

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