Metro's Future Store in Rheinberg, Germany, which has been at the forefront of testing RFID technology in Europe, is to roll out the scheme to 100 suppliers and 269 locations in November.
Metro Rheinberg head of technology Dr Gerd Wolfram said the chips were having a significant impact within the store. 'The biggest single benefit is the impact on receiving goods,' he said. 'To be frank, it is boring, repetitive work, but with RFID it is easier and this benefits the staff.'
Wolfram said manual counting was not just slow but also inaccurate - RFID achieves better-quality counting in a fraction of the time.
He admitted some staff had reservations about the Big Brother implications of the technology. He said it was important that changes were communicated clearly to staff, but said staff were really won over when the technology was installed and people could see for themselves that it is not disturbing, and would benefit them.
RFID gives Metro a transparent supply chain and enables it to see in real time exactly where everything is within the supply chain and in-store.
Wolfram said: 'We've learnt a lot during this project and there are still improvements to come.'