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RFID News Roundup

Checkpoint Systems reports momentum building for RFID ••• U.S. Navy successfully demos RFID inventory application offshore ••• Steamboat, Winter Park resorts installing RFID technology ••• Target tests beacons at 50 stores ••• Indian Water Park implements RFID-enabled solution ••• Bluetooth beacon shipments to break 400 million units in 2020.
By Beth Bacheldor
Aug 06, 2015

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Checkpoint Systems; U.S. Navy; Intrawest Resorts Holdings, EM Microelectronic, Skidata; Target; Aqua Village; and ABI Research.

Checkpoint Systems Reports Momentum Building for RFID

In its most recent earnings report, Checkpoint Systems announced that its RFID label revenues grew by more than 20 percent year-over-year. George Babich, the company's president and CEO, said that his firm expects to achieve an increase of about 50 percent in its RFID project pipeline in the coming year, adding that "retailers are beginning to review RFID as table stakes to compete in the 21st century omni-channel retail reality."

Checkpoint is a global provider of in-store merchandise-availability solutions for the retail industry, encompassing loss prevention and merchandise visibility. The company provides end-to-end solutions enabling retailers to achieve accurate real-time inventory visibility, accelerate the replenishment cycle, prevent out-of-stocks and reduce theft, thus improving merchandise availability and the shopping experience.

According to Babich, Checkpoint has struck a deal with one of its largest North American customers to upgrade existing Checkpoint RF electronic article surveillance (EAS) antennas with Checkpoint Systems' next-generation dual RF/RFID-ready antennas. The initiative will get underway in the second half of 2015, as part of the customer's plans to use RFID tags both for EAS loss prevention and inventory visibility.

Babich also announced that one of Checkpoint's largest European customers will begin to deploy its RFID-based Merchandise Visibility solution at approximately 150 stores and distribution centers in France.

"Our OAT software has been expanded to include the functionality for distribution centers, where we also will be installing our world-class mass RFID tag reading solutions," Babich said. "Stores will be equipped with our high-performance RFID POS solution, with our OAT software suite running on handheld readers. This represents the next step forward with this retailer, who we expect to deploy worldwide our end-to-end merchandise visibility solutions, beginning in the DCs into the back of the store stock rooms, and finally into the store. With the momentum building and the pull being generated by retailers, we hope to announce a number of RFID, and RFID inspired projects in the future."

In the future, Babich added, Checkpoint expects to announce a number of RFID projects. "We are now in discussion, proof-of-concept, pilot, or partial deployment phases of our Merchandise Visibility solutions in more than 30 retailers across the globe. Checkpoint is the thought leader for these retailers as they explore the myriad of benefits RFID technology has to offer in their stores and distribution centers, and we are confident that we will convert many of these projects to full deployments in the years to come," Babich said.

Responding to a question from an equity research analyst regarding retailers' adoption of Checkpoint's Wirama RFID technology, Babich stated: "With our installation of RFID in Decathlon, in France, we utilized our Wirama technology in the antennas. And as I mentioned, with the North American retailer, we are not disclosing it at this point, we are changing out all of their antennas chain-wide so that they are in a position to utilize the RFID technology—Wirama technology—at the point of exit as they expand their RFID program with us."

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