Ristic says that while the RFID revolution is approaching, it is not without its limitations. Currently RFID technology is still too expensive to be used by retailers en masse. Performance must also improve before it can be used for loss prevention.

“Despite the hype that RFID can duplicate the benefits of EAS, the idea is not currently feasible, economical or practical,” said Ristic, who is ADT’s Australian RFID specialist.

“Given the rise in shrinkage rates over the last few years, the EAS industry is experiencing growth,” said David Such, Regional Manager, ADT.

EAS is expected to coexist with RFID as an important and complementary tool in helping to maximise item security in the retail supply chain.

RFID and EAS are two distinct technologies. RFID offers inventory visibility while EAS provides item security. RFID should not be interpreted or mistaken as a replacement for an EAS system, according to ADT.

“Retailers should also be aware of the misconception that RF EAS is linked to RFID. Retailers should not assume that an implementation of RFID technology is made easier by leveraging a currently installed RF EAS solution, “said Ristic.

“There is no simple migration from one to another, no simple upgrade.”

Research has shown that combining EAS and RFID technology on item level tagging, while conceivable, will not be a viable option for another five to ten years.

“ADT, along with its partners, is trialling and testing RFID in retail environments in the US and UK. The technology will continue to develop and expand,” said David Such.

“Currently, however, store level EAS tagging is still the most cost-effective way to ensure retailers keep their merchandise secure.”