(Sept. 18) Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., announced Sept. 12 that it plans to double to 1,000 the number of its stores using radio frequency identification during the current fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31.

Wal-Mart has more than 3,900 locations in the U.S., and about 500 now use RFID.

The retail giant said it plans to double to 600 the number of its shippers that use RFID.

In October, 300 companies are expected to begin shipping test cases before going live in January, joining the current 300.

Wal-Mart said on its Web site that the technology has helped reduce out-of-stock items and excess inventory. The retailer also said the cost of the technology is coming down, while performance is increasing.

The company also said it plans to convert its systems strictly to Gen 2 tags.