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Walmart’s Latest RFID Guidelines: What You Need to Know

Walmart is expanding its RFID program. Are you prepared?

Walmart is mandating that suppliers in the electronics and home departments label their products with an RFID inlay. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled some key information you need to know.

Which departments need UHF RFID?
The latest departments to need RFID technology are:

Home departments – D14, 17, 20, 22, 71, 74
Entertainment departments – D7, 72, 87
Hardlines departments – D9, 10 tires, and batteries

Walmart expects all participating national, proprietary, supplier, and private brands in these categories to follow the mandate.

RFID specifications
Walmart requires its suppliers to tag their products with a Gen 2 UF RFID tag, which has a frequency of 902-928 megahertz. Tag dimension requirements vary depending on the goods you offer. To learn more, visit Auburn University’s lists:

Home goods specifications
Electronics specifications
Toy specifications
Sporting goods specifications

How should the tags be encoded?
Walmart requires suppliers to encode the tags using GS1’s Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards. An EPC combines your product’s UPC barcode with a unique serial number. This barcode is the 12-digit barcode that identifies your company, your product and product type.

GS1 defined a standardized label language, which means an RFID label can be read anywhere, by any company. This enables large retailers to receive your products seamlessly and get them out on the floor faster.

As a premier GS1 partner and tenured RFID system integrator, AB&R is ready to help you meet Walmart’s new standards. We can encode your tags or find the right equipment to enable you to encode them yourself. Call us at 800-281-3056 or fill out the form at the end of the article to get started.

Key deadlines
Walmart’s implementation timeline is moving fast. These are the dates to remember.

June 3: Last day to submit RFID samples to Auburn University
Make sure to send at least five RFID label samples to the below address for Auburn University by June 3. Do not include your product with your samples.

Prior to sending your RFID label samples, Auburn University asks that you fill out an online form with more information about your company, product and specifications used.

Keep in mind that if you develop new products after June 3, you must still submit samples to Auburn University.

Auburn University address
Auburn University RFID Lab
Attn: Walmart Home Supplier Validation
1550 East Glenn Avenue
Auburn, AL 36849 USA

Auburn University’s phone – (334)-844-7513

August 17: Must arrive to distribution center (MABD)
All RFID-tagged products must arrive to its respective distribution center or facility by August 17. This means the days August 13 through 17 is permitted.

September 2: All products arriving at store must be tagged
Starting September 2, all products that are going to stores must be tagged. From here, Walmart will begin its in-store testing before rollout and deployment

Additional information
For more instructions on Walmart’s new RFID mandate, visit Walmart’s Supplier Academy Page and download the RFID Playbook.

Next Steps
If you have any questions or want to talk about your RFID needs, please reach out. We are here to help you succeed.