How RFID is revolutionizing Retail Theft Prevention


In recent years, large-scale theft of merchandise has inflicted significant financial losses upon retailers, posing a threat to the safety of customers and employees. These crimes span from in-store thefts to incidents within the supply chain and distribution networks, prompting the retail giants to explore innovative security solutions.

A range of advanced security measures ranging from facial recognition cameras, autonomous security robots, smart case locks, shelf monitoring, and predictive analytic software to RFID technology is being employed to combat this challenge. All these technologies work together to create a multi-layered security ecosystem, but RFID stands out for its versatility.

RFID technology, in particular, is pivotal in transforming retail and logistics security. Combined with AI, it offers a potent tool in the fight against organized retail theft. RFID tags are embedded with unique identifiers that can be tracked electronically, allowing retailers to keep a close eye on their inventory from the point of manufacture to the customer’s shopping cart. To combat the rising tide of organized retail crime, major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Kroger, Macy’s, CVS, and others have joined forces with technology companies to employ cutting-edge anti-theft solutions, and at the forefront of this effort is Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. InThing’s platform has built-in capabilities to process RFID events in real-time, apply statistical, machine learning, and AI inference to the data and be able to predict the likelihood of theft, for example.

While AI and RFID technology are helping retailers combat organized retail theft, it’s important to note that many of these crimes are not confined to stores. Thieves often target various points within the supply chain and distribution systems. RFID technology, in particular, has a unique ability to monitor and track merchandise not only at the stores but as it moves through the entire supply chain, from manufacturers to DCs, and finally to retail stores. Providing real-time visibility into inventory not only deters theft but also helps optimize stock levels, reducing inventory shrinkage and ensuring products are available when customers need them.

In the evolving landscape of retail security, RFID technology has emerged as a formidable ally. As it continues to integrate with AI and other advanced anti-theft solutions, it stands as a powerful deterrent to organized retail theft, protecting retailers, employees, and customers while safeguarding valuable inventory throughout the supply chain.

Author’s Note


Rajiv Anand is the co-founder & CTO of InThing Corp. With a focus on next generation connected and distributed enterprise, IoT, micro-services, provenance and machine learning, he develops the technology behind the solutions at InThing.