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What You Need to Know About Walmart's Latest RFID Tagging Mandate

In early 2022, Walmart announced the expansion of its RFID mandate program to additional products and departments. The retail giant is mandating its suppliers to tag home goods, sporting goods, electronics, and toys with RFID by September 2, 2022, with plans to extend the requirement to more categories. As one of the biggest retailers in the world, this news will have major repercussions with virtually all of Walmart’s manufacturers, distributors, and vendors. If you are partners with Walmart, it is imperative that you understand what this mandate  is, and how it will affect your organization’s operations.

Here is the key information you need to know to best prepare for Walmart’s RFID mandate.

 

Why is Walmart Mandating RFID Tags?

For Walmart, RFID provides unmatched inventory accuracy. According to Shelly McDougal, Walmart’s senior director of merchandising:

“We have seen dramatic results in our ability to ensure product is available for our customers, leading to improved online order fulfillment and customer satisfaction.”

For retailers, RFID can have huge benefits. According to GS1 US, item level tagging improved retail inventory accuracy 95%. Additionally, RFID cuts out-of-stocks at the retail level by up to 50%. In order to successfully sell online and in store, retailers need the most accurate inventory data possible. RFID enables retailers to reach unprecedented levels of inventory accuracy across their entire supply chain.

Several other retailers have recently added RFID to their supply chain such as Target in 2016, H&M in 2021, Nordstrom in 2022, and Macy’s also in 2022. It’s no secret retailers need heightened levels of inventory precision throughout their supply chain. Time and time again RFID is proven to be the best technology to deliver accurate inventory numbers for retailers. Walmart is no different. With this RFID tagging mandate, Walmart’s fulfillment and merchandising team has accuracy in their crosshairs.

Free RFID Consultation

Have you been handed an RFID mandate? Let us help! We’ve been working with companies to help them leverage RFID implementation mandates, and identify ways they can benefit from RFID. Key solutions include:

  • Tracking and tracing inventory and goods.
  • Preventing items from unauthorized usage.
  • Ensuring equipment is not taken off premises.
  • Check where items are stored for quick finding.

Which Departments Need RFID Tags?

By September 2, 2022, Walmart suppliers will be required to include RFID on tags or packaging for all products in the following categories:

  • Apparel (already required)
  • Bath and Shower
  • Bedding
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Home Décor
  • Kitchen and Dining
  • Storage and Organization
  • Toys

 

What Are the RFID Tag Specifications?

Walmart will be requiring suppliers to use Gen 2 UF RFID tags. These kinds of tags have a frequency of 902-928 megahertz. Tag dimension requirements will vary depending on the item’s department. Here is how the tag specs are broken down according to Auburn University’s RFID program.

 

Key Dates and Deadlines

Here are a few dates to keep in mind while you and your team prepares for Walmart’s RFID compliance mandate.

  • June 3rd 2022 – Deadline to submit RFID tag samples to Auburn University.
  • August 17th 2022 – All RFID-tagged products must arrive to its respective distribution center or facility.
  • September 2nd 2022 – All products that are going to stores must be tagged.

To learn more about Walmart’s RFID packaging expectations, download their supply chain standards document.

How CYBRA’s RFID Experience Can Help

CYBRA’s expertise with RFID technology goes back nearly 20 years. We literally wrote the book on RFID integration. Rely on our experience and scar tissue to help guide your organization through your RFID installation process. Request a free consultation today!