At What Cost

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-09-11 Print this article Print

?"> Morrow added that his chief worry is the pricing impact. "What would it do to the cost of a sandwich?" At todays pricing, it could easily double the cost. But RFID pricing of all kinds is expected to sharply decrease between now and when per-item tracking is ready for wide-scale deployment, so its not clear what pricing impacts would happen. Morrow also wants to use RFID to track ingredient and nutritional information, along with expiration dates. A typical 7-Eleven store, for example, doesnt merely sell cheese. It sells cheese in the dairy refrigerator, and it sells sandwiches with cheese that an employee slices and perhaps a hoagie with melted cheese.
Service such as preparing fresh sandwiches is a crucial way to keep customers, as Toys R Us learned the hard way. Click here to read more.
For the cheese in the aisle, "the shelf would know expiration dates" and when a container hit its expiration date, the products RFID tag would alert the POS "and say, Come and get me." What is more complicated is knowing when the melted cheese is set to expire and when the cheese in a sandwich is set to expire. This could include "the lot number on the mayonnaise, the block of cheese. We could get it to the nth degree." Check out eWEEK.coms Retail Center for the latest news, views and analysis of this vital industry.

Evan Schuman is the editor of's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at

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