In a strong sign that RFID is ramping up even faster for retailers, RFID solution provider Checkpoint Systems says that RFID label revenues grew more than 20 percent year-over-year for the second quarter. RFID was the bright spot of Checkpoint’s financial report, released earlier this week.
Checkpoint revealed strong growth in Europe and expects to announce several new deployments in the near future as its RFID project pipeline grows stronger.
Checkpoint is in active discussions with more than 30 retailers regarding deploying RFID, an increase of approximately 50 percent in its project pipeline compared to last year, “reflecting a palpable change in the tone of discussions around RFID.”
“Retailers are beginning to review RFID as table stakes to compete in the 21st-century omni-channel retail reality,” said George Babich, CEO and president of Checkpoint Systems, Inc., in the earnings report.
“In fact, we have recently reached agreement with one of our largest European customers to initiate an expansion of our RFID relationship by beginning to deploy our merchandise visibility solutions in 150 stores and warehouses in France beginning in the second half of 2015 and continuing into 2016.”
Checkpoint’s OAT software has been expanded to include functionality for distribution centers, where it will be installing its mass RFID tag reading solutions. Stores will be equipped with Checkpoint’s RFID POS solution, with the OAT software suite running on handheld readers.
In addition, Checkpoint has signed a deal with one of its largest North American customers to upgrade all of its Checkpoint RF-EAS antennas with the next generation of dual RF and RFID-ready antennas. The chain-wide EAS upgrade includes Checkpoint’s newly launched E10.2 antenna that is prewired for a simple upgrade to its Wirama RFID reader. This new antenna will enable the use of RFID for EAS as well as inventory management to increase sales, improve the overall customer experience, and provide deeper insights into the traditional loss prevention function.
On the earnings call, acting CFO and treasurer James Lucania said that many of the prior roadblocks to deploying RFID have finally been cleared.
“There has been fits and starts in the celebration of MV and the whole RFID initiative,” he said during the call. “And whether it was 2008 and pulling back on capital by the retailers or it was the Round Rock patent litigation, there always seemed to be something getting in the way. Of course, it started with the cost been very high.
“Now the cost has come down; it’s very affordable. The ROI is there. Online e-commerce is a real threat to retailers. It’s expanded tremendously, where a greater portion of sales are coming from online. And then the other apparel retailers are adopting RFID and their competitors see it. And they know that they need to start the process, because it does take time. So I think all of these things coming together are influencing the pace at which we will see the adoption going forward.”