European supermarket chain extends RFID push

Tesco will use the technology in more stores, focusing this time on tracking cases and pallets, rather than individual items.

Jo Best Special to CNET News.com
European supermarket chain Tesco is planning to extend its RFID rollout in time for the Christmas rush.

The company, which began using the tracking technology in October last year, will be introducing it across the supply chain, from distribution centers to supermarkets.

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Currently, Tesco uses the radio frequency identification technology to track DVDs in its Sandhurst, England, store. The company also tried out the chips on packs of Gillette razor blades in one of its Cambridge stores at the start of the year. The latest plans are more ambitious, covering a larger number of stores and greater range of products, but will focus on tracking at the case and pallet level, rather than at the item level.

The products, which include toiletries, batteries and mobile phones, among other items, will be tracked from Tesco's central distribution center to one of 98 Tesco superstores in the United Kingdom.

The supermarket has picked OATSystems for its software infrastructure supplier but has yet to select a supplier for its RFID tags and readers.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.