British retailer expands RFID trial to 53 stores
Marks & Spencer, a retailer of apparel, furniture and household goods headquartered in London, said it would expand a trial of radio frequency identification technology to 53 of its 433 stores in the U.K., Republic of Ireland and Hong Kong in spring 2006. Last year, the retailer conducted the trial in nine stores. Marks & Spencer hopes RFID will improve its ability to check stock deliveries and store inventories. The RFID chips will be integrated into existing paper barcode labels that contain size and price information. However, the retailer said the RFID chips would not be read at checkout, ensuring that no connection can be established between the product and the purchaser, to protect customers’ privacy.