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UNITED KINGDOM -- Following Wal-Mart's RFID requirement set to begin in 2005, Tesco, the largest retailer in the United Kingdom, operating convenience stores, hypermarkets and supermarkets, has told suppliers it will begin requiring RFID tags on shipments beginning in 2006, according to a report in RFID Journal.
The end of 2007 expects tagging of all shipments, a year later than Wal-Mart's deadline in the United States.
Recently, Tesco worked with Alien Technology, IBM Business Consulting Services, Intel and IPI, a UK professional services company focused on new technologies, on an Electronic Product Code (EPC) pilot, which went live on Sept. 8, the Journal reported. The company tracked trays and cases moving from one of Tesco's distribution centers to two of its UK stores.
The retailer has been among the most active retailers testing RFID technology based on the Auto-ID Center's EPC, and was among the first retailers to develop smart shelf technology designed by Gillette, according to the Journal. The company also piloted an innovative low-cost antenna system developed by MeadWestvaco's Intelligent Systems (MWVIS) division to track CDs in one of its stores.
Tesco has been on in expansion mode, currently with 2,291 retail stores around the world, and if it adopts the same EPC technology used by Wal-Mart and the United States Department of Defense, the UK retailer could help boost EPC adoption in Europe by retailers and suppliers, according to the Journal.