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Avery Tempts Customers With Free RFID Tags

The company is opening up shop in Atlanta to help accelerate the adoption of RFID across the retail and Department of Defense supply chains.
Avery Dennison's RFID business division on Monday launched a partnership program for qualified companies that are facing 2006 mandates to affix radio frequency identification technology tags on cases or pallets before shipping goods from their distribution center to customers.

In the program, Avery is opening a company location in Atlanta to help accelerate the adoption of RFID across the retail and Department of Defense supply chains. "We expect a great deal of interest in this program and recognize that RFID tags are a crucial component of a working RFID system," said Antony Sloan, manager of marketing services at Avery Dennison RFID. "The more than 300 companies under current and 2006 mandates that must implement RFID at their own expense are mostly likely going to be taking a close look at the advantages of the Avery Dennison Partnership Program."

Through the program, the company will assist in tag evaluation at its Atlanta Technical Center, where participants in the program receive up to 10,000 free Gen 1 or Gen 2 tags to either test or ship cases and pallets to customers.

The program is also available to retailers who are conducting RFID pilot tests, as well as OEMs, systems integrators and converters who are working on RFID implementation programs on behalf of end users.

One analyst said donating tags will help jump-start Avery's RFID customer base. "For any company to give away $2,000 worth of product, no strings attached, is a leap of faith that customers will try the product and continue to come back," said Marcus Torchia, senior analyst in the wireless mobile enterprise solution Group at Yankee Group. "Companies trying this will primarily be small companies or systems integrators."

Avery anticipates major interest by companies during the next 12 months as mandates at Department of Defense, Best Buy Inc., Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. kick-in or accelerate. Many of the consumer product goods companies also will move to the next generation of RFID tag known as Gen 2, too. Avery said during the next year it will evaluate whether or not to extend the program.