Why are manufacturers adopting expensive new RFID technology when they're not even sure of its benefits? Because Wal-Mart told 'em to. The new radio-frequency ID tags will let Wal-Mart track inventory easily and cheaply, make sure products are displayed on the right shelves and prevent theft. It's that last part that might be genius. In a Tuesday Wall Street Journal article about P&G-Gillette, it was revealed that Wal-Mart recently called P&G and several other manufacturers -- on a weekend -- ordering them to do something about their most-shoplifted products. The brands were forced to redesign packaging and store displays with theft-prevention in mind.
Given how poorly other retailers address shoplifting, you have to admire Wal-Mart. They're serious.