Starting next month, the retailer will place removable
"smart tags" on individual garments that can be read by a hand-held scanner.
Wal-Mart workers will be able to quickly learn, for instance, which size of
Wrangler jeans is missing, with the aim of ensuring shelves are optimally
stocked and inventory tightly watched. If successful, the radio-frequency ID
tags will be rolled out on other products at Wal-Mart's more than 3,750 U.S.
"This ability to wave the wand and have a sense of all the products that are
on the floor or in the back room in seconds is something that we feel can
really transform our business," said Raul Vazquez, the executive in charge
of Wal-Mart stores in the western U.S.