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Each June for the past six years, the Auburn University RFID Lab has analyzed RFID adoption by U.S. apparel retailers. The analysis is based on publicly available information and the lab’s work with various retailers. As such, the analysis provides a reliable snapshot of both new and existing adopters. Following an initial three years of slow adoption due primarily to the great recession and issues with patent enforcement agencies, the past three years have witnessed growth in both the number of adopters and movement up the adoption curve. The adoption is occurring across all types of retailers —from large department store chains to smaller specialty shops, though mostly in the apparel sector.
In this paper, we look at the 2016 adoption including where retailers are in the adoption cycle and the changes since 2015. We also provide insight into the reasons behind the changes and the factors that may impact 2017 adoption.