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Vendors Offer Free Retail Display Tracking

A trio of companies believe tracking promotional displays with RFID will demonstrate to retailers and consumer packaged goods companies an ROI that is easy to attain.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
May 22, 2006Three RFID product and services vendors—ADT, Intel and OATSystems—have announced a new program to track promotional displays. The companies hope the program, called Promotions-on-Standards, will show retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms how they can generate a return on investment by deploying RFID for something as simple as tracking the movement of promotional displays onto a sales floor in a timely manner. They believe the program will result in a significant increase in promotion effectiveness and product sell-through for retailers and CPG firms.

For the six-month program, the three vendors will donate all the RFID interrogators, antennas, portal frames, software and services needed to tag and track promotional displays between the distribution centers of participating CPG manufacturers and up to 10 stores of each participating retailer. The trio has already signed up one undisclosed retailer, and is in negotiations with five others.

OATSystem's Marc Osofsky
Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Kimberly Clark are the CPG firms committed to participate so far, but the RFID vendors hope to attract up to seven more. The CPG companies will be responsible for tagging displays with any EPC UHF Gen 2 tags of their choosing. The cost to do this will be minimal, says Marc Osofsky, OATSystem's vice president of marketing and product management. A CPG company will need to tag a single display for each of the 10 retail store locations for each participating retailer.

Using RFID in promotions monitoring, by tagging and tracking displays designed to help launch new products, has proven to be the most profitable application of RFID for Procter & Gamble (see P & G Finds RFID 'Sweet Spot'. Improving product promotions and ensuring that new products are on sales floors at launch time can reportedly result in a 20 percent sales lift, on average.

ADT will survey each retail site to determine the optimal placement of ADT's interrogators, antennas and portal frames. It will also work with the CPG firms to tag select displays, which will be read at their DCs, then once again upon arrival at the retail store. Readers in both locations will feed data into OATxpress software, which will filter and manage the RFID data.

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