Retail Solutions - Metro continues its RFID push with 250-store tagging drive

Metro Group, the fifth largest retailer in the world, is to roll out its RFID pilot to 279 stores and 10 warehouses by November.

At the same time, it will encourage 100 of its biggest suppliers - which account for about 60 per cent of the retailer's turnover - to affix RFID tags to pallets and transport packages.

A total of 59 Metro Cash & Carry, 100 Real and Extra supermarkets and 122 Galeria Kaufhof department stores will participate in the roll-out.

Metro hopes to extend the number of suppliers co-operating in RFID to 300 by 2006.

The announcement, made by Metro CEO Hans-Joachim Korber and chief information officer Zygmunt Mierdorf, comes nine months after the start of a live technology trial at the company's Extra supermarket in Rheinberg, Germany - dubbed the Future Store by the retailer.

Metro Future Store project leader Dr Gerd Wolfram explained the reasoning behind the decision to roll out the technology to other stores in an exclusive interview with Retail Week at the NRF annual conference in New York. He said: 'The experience of the (Extra) Future Store has given us the confidence that the technology is working. Standards will be out this year, so we are now able to start the roll-out. The earlier we start, the earlier we can get the benefits. We expect it to take another two to three years.'

In a separate announcement, Metro Group has joined up with Intel, Carrefour and Tesco to drive RFID standards in Europe.

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