RFID Talk Blog

RFID market surpasses $10B behind strong retail adoption

The RFID market has achieved a new milestone, surpassing the $10 billion mark in overall sales. According to new research from IDTechEx, the total market for RFID will reach $10.1 billion in 2015, up from $9.5 billion last year and $8.8 billion in 2013.

IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das says that the RFID sector will be worth $13.2 billion by 2020, and nearly $19 billion by 2026. The IDTechEx data includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs and all other form factors, for both passive and active RFID.

Retail adoption is driving strong growth of RFID technology.

Nearly 40 percent of the total market volume is derived from tags, which totaled 8.9 billion units sold in 2015, an increase over the 7.8 billion passive and active tags (all frequencies) sold in 2014.

The retail apparel sector continues to drive adoption, with 4.6 billion RFID tags expected to be consumed in 2016, which represents only about 15 percent of the total market for apparel goods.

IDTechEx expects that 10.4 billion tags will be sold overall in 2016. Most of that growth is from passive UHF RFID (RAIN RFID) labels. However, in 2015 UHF (RAIN RFID) tag sales by value will only be 11percent of the value of HF tag sales, mainly because HF tags (used for security such as payments, access etc) have a higher price point versus the cheaper, usually disposable UHF RAIN RFID tags used for tagging lower priced items.

Retailers like Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s continue to deploy RFID to improve inventory visibility and enable shopper friendly solutions like omni-channel retailing. The inventory visibility from using RFID, for example, has allowed Macy’s to expand its same-day delivery services to 17 major cities in the U.S.

Target, meanwhile, is deploying RFID across all 1,795 stores by the end of next year in what is expected to be the largest retail rollout worldwide. Target’s rollout will likely consume more than one billion tags during the first year.

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