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How Many Tags Do Retailers Use?
What volume of RFID tags do Wal-Mart and other retail organizations utilize on a consistent basis, in order to track all of their items?
Wal-Mart does not purchase any tags. Rather, its suppliers purchase the tags and then place them on cases of goods. Wal-Mart tracks the cases from the time they arrive at its distribution centers until they reach the retail sales floor. There is no published number for tags consumed by its suppliers—some employ several million per year, while others require only a few hundred thousand.
Sam's Club has been purchasing tags and placing them on pallets for its suppliers, but the number of pallets handled in the course of a year is low compared to the number of cases or items. Other retailers, such as American Apparel, purchase tags and place them on the items they produce and sell, but these companies have not published any figures regarding the number of tags they use annually.
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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