Retail Solutions - RFID reports cast doubt on shrinkage reduction

Two separate pieces of research on RFID have both identified warm enthusiasm from suppliers and retailers on both sides of the Atlantic.

However, neither highlights the reduction of shrinkage as a credible benefit for the technology, which is in contrast to a report on the benefits of RFID due to be published by Metro Group.

A report from Accenture comparing attitudes of retail suppliers in the US with those in Europe found that an improved ability to trace goods across the supply chain was the most valued benefit.

'The US and Europe are at different stages of compliance. Europe has a six- to eight-month time lag compared with the US, mainly because of Wal-Mart pushing a little harder over there,' said Accenture consumer and retail practice partner Marcus Siegel.

Both the US and European sides of the report found that expectations about improvements in shrinkage scored around 2.77 out of a maximum of five, where five is a 'strong benefit'.

A second report released by IGD said 68 per cent of retail respondents agreed that RFID would improve speed and efficiency. However, no mention was made of the issue of shrinkage.

Both reports are at odds with results from the RFID trials at the Metro Future Store initiative in Germany, due to be published next week.

The report, conducted by Kurt Salmon Associates, is expected to show that the store has seen a reduction in shrinkage of 18 per cent.