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Tyco Opens Experience Center for Wal-Mart

The facility is intended to provide Wal-Mart executives and other employees with access to Tyco technology as they plan upgrades to existing store EAS and RFID systems.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 31, 2015

Tyco Retail Solutions has built Retail Experience Centers around the world so that its customers can view and try out its technologies, including radio frequency identification solutions. This week, the firm opened its first such center that is intended specifically for its largest retailer customer, Wal-Mart. The new Retail Experience Center is in Bentonville, Ark., the city where the retailer's headquarters is also located, and is designed for use solely by Wal-Mart managers and other employees.

Tyco makes electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems for loss prevention, but also offers a variety of other security and item-level tracking technologies, including ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID systems to read the tags on goods in the back rooms of stores, on display shelves, and at point of sale and exits. Tyco's 14 other such Experience Centers are located around the world, typically at the company's office locations, including in Boca Raton, Fla., Denver, Colo., and Irvine, Calif.

Tyco's new Retail Experience Center for Wal-Mart
Eric White, Tyco Retail Solutions' Wal-Mart account leader, says this is the first such Experience Center dedicated to a single customer, and that it might not be the last, assuming the Wal-Mart model goes well. The 5,000-square-foot facility includes a mock store containing point-of-sale checkout areas and a back room, as well as a meeting room, in which all of the Tyco technology currently available to retailer customers is on display and can be demonstrated and tested. White says he expects the new facility to be visited by Bentonville executives, including those responsible for Wal-Mart research and development, as well as profit and loss managers, and the employees who report to them.

Inside the center, White says, Tyco is showcasing all of its technology, including its RFID systems for a store's back room, sales floor and exits, as well as Tyco's EAS solutions, camera systems and traffic counters.

Above all, White adds, RFID will provide the tool necessary to track inventory and ensure that products do not go out of stock, while shrinkage (loss prevention) would be a secondary application. Because of RFID's ability to identify products and their locations, however, Tyco believes RFID will be "the likely successor to EAS," according to White.

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