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Electronic Product Codes (EPC) –
Helping Walmart Help Customers and Suppliers
Customers around the world trust Walmart to deliver the products they want at a price they can afford. As part
of our commitment to helping people save money so they can live better, our company is committed to
Electronic Product Codes, or EPC, as a leading edge technology that helps us improve the shopping
experience for Walmart customers and Sam’s Club members.
At Walmart, we listen closely to our customers and members and know they are concerned about privacy
issues. That is why we are committed to being transparent about how and why we use EPC technology.
What is EPC?
Simply put, it is an electronic version of a bar code, but with greater capacity. An EPC label provides specific
data about a product like color, size or a model number. Using the same type of technology that allows you to
unlock your car with a remote or to pass through a toll booth without having to stop, each individual pallet,
case or item can be labeled with a unique number that enables us to make sure the products our customers
want are in stock and available for purchase. These numbers also indicate what the product is, where it was
made and, in the case of products where freshness is concerned, when a product might expire.
How Does EPC Improve the Shopping Experience?
We know that saving time is as important to our customers as saving money. Using EPC helps improve the
efficiencies at our stores – making sure the right products in the right quantities are shipped to the right store
and helping to ensure those products are on the shelf when customers want to buy them. Our vision is that
EPC technology can enhance customer service, making it better and faster – including faster checkouts and
more convenient product returns. Because EPC allows us to look at the total inventory in our store, it also
helps us identify recalled products and prevent