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RFID drives Target’s LA 25 initiative

Target continues to push the envelope when it comes to technology innovation. The giant retailer is in the midst of rolling out an innovation initiative called LA25 in 25 of its Los Angeles stores to test about 50 innovation technologies – including RFID – and the power they have on guest experience and sales.

Earlier this year Target revealed plans to roll out RFID across all of its 1,795 stores. Target is working with its vendors on a fast-track timeline to deploy RFID at a limited number of stores this year.

RFID technology is a major part of Target's LA 25 initiative to test 50 innovative technologies within its LA stores.

“Right now, our teams can tell if a unit of product is currently available at their store, but if it’s been misplaced on the wrong aisle or shelf, it could take hours to find,” Target said on its corporate blog. “So we’ll explore RFID technology to help team members track down misplaced products with lightning speed so they can get them to our guests faster than ever before.”

The Target rollout will likely consume more than one billion tags annually during year one. Target is spending $1 billion on supply chain and technology upgrades in 2015, with RFID consuming a good portion of that budget. Target’s rollout is expected to be the largest retail deployment by the end of 2016. Initially, the retailer will tag times in three categories, including women’s apparel, baby and kids clothing and home décor.

In July, Target unveiled an in-store Internet of Things lab called Target Open House. Clearly, Target is anticipating the day when all of the products it sells will not only carry RFID tags, but also communicate with each other at homes and in everyday life.

Target Open House, which the retailer calls “part retail space, part lab, part meeting venue for the connected home tech community” is located at San Francisco’s Metreon shopping center.

As for the LA 25, construction is underway on the first wave of tests and updates, with a second wave launching in spring 2016.

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