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The Future Store Initiative was launched in April 2003 by METRO Group, Germany's largest retailer and the fifth largest retailer in the world. Located in Rheinberg near Düsseldorf, this supermarket became the industry's showplace for RFID technology.

As a customer, your shopping cart at the Future Store is attached with a
Personal Shopping Assistant (PSA), equipped with a pressure-sensitive touchscreen as well as a built-in barcode scanner. Product information and special promotions will be displayed on screen. At check-out, you just need to hand the PSA to the cashier and no longer have to empty your cart.

When a product is removed from or added to the shelf, the built-in RFID reading device registers the movement and transmits the information to the supply chain management system – stocks are updated. In addition, the shelf automatically registers incorrectly shelved or missing goods. Out-of-stock situations are avoided. Currently, only selected products are provided with RFID Smart Chips. They include CDs, DVDs, videos, tapes and video games as well as razor blades from Gillette, Pantene hair products from Procter & Gamble and Philadelphia cream cheese from Kraft.

Electronic Advertising Displays and Electronic Price Labels are used in the Future Store to provide the customers reliable, up-to-date product and price information. And a staff member can use a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to change the sale information as required in a matter of seconds.

Take a virtual tour of Future Store here ( or a REAL virtual tour here). For more details, visit Future Store website.

(image source: Future Store Initiative)
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