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Category: RFID, Automated Data Collection, and Internet of Things

RFID, AIDC, and IoT News Round Up for March 16, 2022


GSI US Offering RFID Discussion Group
; Impinj Stock Takes another Dive; Why does Aldi have Big Bar Codes?

March 16, 2022
SCDigest Editorial Staff


Here are a few of the top stories on RFID, bar code data collection, and supply chain IoT over the past couple of weeks.


GSI US Offering RFID Discussion Group

GS1 US, a standards and educational organization, has established what it calls a discussion group on best practices for implementing Electronic Product Code (EPC)–enabled RFID to support supply chain and inventory management initiatives.

The first meeting of the group, delivered as a teleconference, will be next week, on March 24. After that, the group will convene on a quarterly basis, GS1 says, potentially in conjunction with industry events. The discussion group will last 90 minutes.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

One Reddit user asked why Aldi has always "had so many" bar codes on some of its products," attaching a picture of a bar code that took up an entire side of a corn flakes box, according to web site.

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For the first session, featured expert guests will be:

• Matt Alexander, senior director, Merchandising Innovation, Walmart, will discuss the benefits of EPC–enabled RFID and challenges the technology addressed at Walmart.

• Dr. Bill Hardgrave, provost and senior vice president, Auburn University, will examine the industrywide benefits of EPC–enabled RFID.

• Mark Roberti, founder and editor, RFID Journal, will share observations about the state of RFID today and future opportunities.

To participate, individuals must work for companies that are current GS1 corporate members, either as part of a GS1 US Industry Initiative or its Solution Partner Program.

After meeting that requirement, “Any individual interested in learning about RFID and/or connecting with others in the industry are welcome to join,” GS1 says.

Participants will be able to reach out to industry experts as necessary to respond to questions and issues, GS1 says.

Impinj Stock Takes another Dive

From time to time we check in on the stock performance of Impinj, the Seattle-based maker of RFID tags, readers and supporting software, as sort of a barometer of how things are going in the RFID market.

The Impinj stock has been on a rollercoaster of ups and downs since it went public in July 2016.

Just recently, Impinj’s share price soared to $92 per share in late December, up strongly from $52 in October. But then as has been the company’s history, it headed sharply down in February after its Q4 earnings report, where while beating expectations, the company said the semiconductor shortage was impacting sales.

(See More Below)



Demand for its chips is 50% higher than its quarterly shipments, the company said. Impinj entered 2022 with a record backlog.

That sent the stock crumbling 20%, a fall then accelerated by a market sell off of high valuation tech stocks. Impinj is now trading at about $58 per share, down almost 40% from the December high.

As we’ve noted several times before, investors who have bought on big dips in Impinj’s stock price have done very well in the past– but the investment is not for the faint of heart.

With the company sporting a market capitalization of roughly $1.5 billion, it is valued at approximately 6.7 times this year's expected sales and whopping 279.3 times expected earnings.

Why does Aldi have Big Bar Codes?

It was news to SCDigest, but a recent Reddit thread asked this question: why does low price grocery store operator Aldi have much larger bar codes than normally seen on many of its products, and apparently often more than one? (We’ll note Aldi sells private label products and so controls the packaging.)

One Reddit user asked why Aldi has always "had so many" bar codes on some of its products," attaching a picture of a bar code that took up an entire side of a corn flakes box, according to web site.

Another person on the thread said the multiple large bar codes are there so that the clerk doesn't have to flip the product around and position it just right to scan," adding that is "why a line at Aldi moves so fast." That in turn allows Aldi to hire fewer staff members and "keep costs and prices down."

Then we found a 2016 article on the motherjones web site that said the same thing: “The key, apparently, is to put large UPC codes on literally every surface of the packaging, so that checkers can just slide stuff over the scanner at light speed. This works fine since the packaging is all controlled by Aldi and doesn’t have to be used to attract customers.”

As SCDigest has reported many times, a company call Digimarc offers another approach to accomplishing the same objective – but at a licensing cost to use the technology. (See Digimarc Takes its Invisible Bar Code Solution to Shipping Cartons.)

Any reaction to this week's RFID and bar code news? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.


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