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Wal-Mart and suppliers begin RFID work

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart and eight product manufacturers today began testing electronic product codes, or EPCs, at select Supercenters and one regional distribution center in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

This trial follows what the company said was extensive testing at its RFID lab and months of collaborative preparation by Wal-Mart and its suppliers. Field equipment testing has been underway in Texas since mid-month but nothing with an RFID tag was placed on store shelves, the company added.

The eight manufacturers participating in the first phase of the trial are: The Gillette Company, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft Foods, Nestle Purina PetCare Company, The Procter & Gamble Company and Unilever.

Wal-Mart has set a January 2005 deadline for its top 100 suppliers to be placing RFID tags on cases and pallets destined for Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Club locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area.

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