Marks and Spencer is now reading more radio frequency identification tags in its food business than barcodes, as retailers gear up for a full roll-out after extensive trialling.
Speaking at the BRC/DTI 'Practical RFID in Retail' conference in London, Ian Mumby, head of supply chain, logistics and IT for foods at M&S, revealed that more than 100 supplier sites were RFID-enabled. "On top of this all six depots are enabled, with 1.4 million tags being written to each week - 61% of RFID trays coming into the business that could be written to are now being written to."
Mumby said it had been unnecessary to mandate suppliers to become RFID-enabled. Likewise, Asda has taken the decision not to mandate when it begins its trials later in the year.
Tesco IT director Colin Cobain said it had only 40 stores enabled as it had been delayed by the European RFID standards, which are not as flexible as those in the US. Tesco is only working with one supplier, Robert Wiseman Dairies, but it has set up an RFID supplier working group.