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What the economic slowdown means for RFID firms

Economic volatility has been at a high level for the past several weeks, and the stock market remains in a choppy pattern. With this in mind, we wondered about  a pair of issues — if indeed Impinj would go through with its planned IPO during an unpredictable time for the stock market, and how the economic volatility is impacting RFID firms.

During the height of the stock market volatility last month, RFID 24-7 reported that the Impinj IPO could be in jeopardy. Since the stock market has leveled of somewhat (other than Friday’s big losses of course), it appears that the Impinj IPO will occur. Impinj is in the middle of a quiet period and cannot comment on the IPO, but many industry insiders believe that the deal with be priced by the middle of next month, if not sooner.

As for the economy’s impact on RFID firms, we turned to VDC Research, which recently published an analyst update on the topic. VDC spoke with leading firms from the component, device manufacturer, channel and end user communities to ascertain the market’s health and identify where (if any) the impact is occurring within the value chain. VDC found very little change, with most firms remaining cautiously optimistic about the near-term future.

The following are some key takeaways from the report:

Components: Speaking with leading IC, inlay, ticket, tag, label, card and printer ink suppliers, we noted that although there has been a slowdown of sales, growth is still occurring at a healthy pace.  Most suppliers attributed this slowdown to high inventory levels within their channels – a trend VDC has been tracking since mid-last year (i.e.: silicon in RFID, petroleum related printing products) – and correlate only a very small portion of this slowdown with the current economic conditions.

Device Manufacturers: The scanner, reader and printer manufacturers are seeing a tremendous amount of activity in nearly every market, with several claiming growth in excess of market and internal expectations.  There were no reports of cancelled or delayed deployments and, for most, growth from new accounts remains stronger than the same time last year.

Click here to view the full VDC report.

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