RFID Talk Blog

Avery deal with Roundrock will accelerate RFID with U.S. retailers

The patent licensing agreement announced today between Avery Dennison’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions business (RBIS) and RoundRock Research should jumpstart RFID deployments within U.S.-based retailers. As the threat of litigation from RoundRock grew over the last 18-24 months, many U.S. retailers went into a wait-and-see mode, falling behind their counterparts in Europe when it comes to large rollouts.

Today’s agreement, which comes one month after Smartrac and Motorola reached a patent licensing deal with Roundrock, should significantly accelerate RFID adoption in retail and begin to push apparel tagging closer to the potential 60 billion units that Avery projects could carry RFID tags in the future. By comparison, about two billion apparel items will be tagged in 2013.

Avery Dennison

Shawn Neville, president of Avery Dennison, expects that today's announcement will accelerate U.S. deployment of RFID in retail apparel.

“From our view, three years ago the U.S. market was twice the size of the EU market in the number of units that we shipped,” says Shawn Neville, president of Avery Dennison RBIS. “Today, the EU market is 50 percent larger and growing at a much faster rate. I’m not sure how much of that has to do with RoundRock, but it clearly hasn’t helped.”

Industry sources have already indicated that tag manufacturers have seen a huge uptick in business since the Smartrac/Motorola deal was announced last month. Now that Avery RBIS is on board, far greater growth is expected.

“RFID adoption in the apparel industry is accelerating around the world due to the strong investment case and fundamental advantage it affords retailers to better manage inventory and serve customers,” says Neville.

“This license agreement, along with our significant investments in RFID innovation, manufacturing capabilities and market development, positions us to lead the accelerating adoption of RFID in the U.S. and around the world.”

Avery’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions business is a major player when it comes to offering RFID solutions for the apparel and retail industry, with more than 800 patents and applications. The company has sold more than 3 billion RFID tags and labels.

“Item-level RFID in apparel retail significantly improves inventory visibility and accuracy, which results in higher inventory productivity and better enablement of omni-channel retail, and improves the overall consumer experience,” said Francisco Melo, vice president of Global RFID, Avery Dennison RBIS.

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