Baird Report: Wal-Mart RFID Has Gone Quiet, Not Inactive

Contrary to some concerns that recent Wal-Mart silence about RFID means the retail giant was backing off, the Arkansas-headquartered firm is actually proceeding aggressively—and quietly, according to the latest monthly RFID report from financial management firm Robert W. Baird & Co..

"Most industry participants, and certainly most external observers, believe Wal-Mart has curtailed their RFID efforts, particularly given little in the way of new communication from the retail giant. However, we believe the primary reason for the lack of communication is the transfer of RFID responsibility to logistic operations within Wal-Mart from IT," the report for July said. "Such a transition, along with the continued implementation of readers, is likely requiring some digestion. We view this transition as a natural progression, and are encouraged that Wal-Mart views RFID importantly enough to make it the responsibility of their day-to-day operators. We further understand that Wal-Mart has recently sent a series of letters inquiring of some vendors their lack of compliance, suggesting that their external communication efforts are targeted."