Smart Industries

RFID Powers Fully Automated Grocery Store with No Onsite Staff

A small countryside village in Finland has opened a shop known as the Mini Smart Ahonkylä. There, shoppers can browse through merchandise and make their purchases without the need for onsite staff. Nordic ID’s solution – using Confidex, a Beontag company’s Ferrowave Flag tags – provides the fail-proof data concerning inventory and purchasing that makes the self-service store possible.

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  • The countryside of Finland is sparsely populated. Residents no longer have access to basic services such as grocery stores due to the need for costly labor.
  • The unmanned store in Ahonkylä required an easy shopping experience for customers.
  • Automated solutions with camera-based technology would be too costly to deploy.
  • With an RFID based system, tags would need to be 100 percent reliable to ensure accurate, seamless self-checkout and inventory management. The system would also need to handle hard-to-tag items such as liquid bottles or items with metallic foil.
  • Tight space onsite meant the RFID technology would have to be highly precise to prevent stray or missed tag reads.


  • Mini Smart Ahonkylä has leveraged RFID to create a fully automated store where the high cost of labor and remote location would make a traditional store unrealistic.
  • The used technology enables the low cost of operation due to reduced labor requirements.
  • RFID reduces error in inventory and store shelf stocking when compared to a manual system.
  • The solution’s data accuracy leads to exceptional customer service with convenient 24/7 hours shopping.

Since late 2022, a small grocery in Ahonkylä Finland has filled a gap in the area’s retail presence by offering merchandise that is easy to access and buy. The store operates in this remote location by virtue of being fully automated – no staff is needed onsite. Instead, RFID technology enables shoppers to make fast, seamless purchases while allowing for fast and accurate inventory replenishment.

Ahonkylä has nearly 2000 residents with a busy road passing through it, yet stores are few and far between. Local residents wished to resolve the lack of grocery store options in the region.

Nordic ID’s solution to this problem was a smart, unmanned corner-shop, offering common food and beverage staples for shoppers. Its integrated technology manages the point of sales process, tracks inventory, and ensures proper replenishment.


The retail start-up worked with Nordic-ID, a part of BRADY corporation, to deploy a RAIN RFID system that leveraged tags from Confidex on each piece of merchandise. The solution consists of an encoding station accompanied by RFID readers at the Point of Sale (POS), entrance, and exit. Workers who replenish goods onsite additionally use handheld readers to gain inventory counts.

Each piece of merchandise is uniquely identified by a Confidex Ferrowave Flag tag. Nordic ID selected this specific tag for its reliable and versatile performance, as well as its affordable pricing.

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Tags are encoded and applied at the store’s encoding station. Nordic ID’s RADEA software manages the information specific to each tag: including product name, category, and expiration date.

For shoppers, the experience is seamless from the beginning. First, they gain access to the shop with their bank card: Nordic ID’s Sampo S2 NFC reader opens the door based on a bank card scan.

Shoppers then select their merchandise and proceed to the POS. There, the RFID reader automatically identifies the products and the RADEA RFID software completes the payment transaction.

As shoppers leave through the exit with their purchased goods, a Nordic ID AR85 RFID reader identifies each item that’s being removed. If the shopper is carrying a product that hasn’t been purchased, an alert reminds them to return and purchase that item.

The system not only enables purchasing, it also tracks the inventory and its freshness. The software prevents sale of goods past their sell-by date, and as the expiration date approaches, the system even automatically discounts the product.

Replenishment is accomplished by visiting staff. They operate Nordic ID HH83 handheld readers that are used for tag association, updating tags, counting and identifying inventory, and for collecting products that have expired.


At the center of this deployment is the Ferrowave Flag – an on-metal tag designed for its flexibility to operate reliably on any form factor of product. This highly versatile tag boasts read ranges up to 12 meters. Its flag structure is optimized for easy attachment even on challenging surfaces, such as metallic packaging or liquid filled containers. The unique shape of the tag also makes the attachment process easy and eliminates the possibility of a wrong installation that could result in lower read rates.

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Since Mini Smart Ahonkylä opened in October 2022, it has been providing retail access to village locals and commuters passing through the area.

“The technology from Nordic ID, and Confidex RFID tags, make it easy for shopkeepers to handle multiple locations with a minimal amount of staff, bringing service to remote locations and otherwise challenging environments,” says Jyri Leinonen, regional sales manager for Finland and the Baltics.

Today, Mini Smart Ahonkylä’s merchandise of food and convenience items makes it a popular shopping site for villagers, as well as for those just passing through town.

Learn more about Confidex offering for challenging retail applications

About Confidex - a Beontag Company

Since 2005 Confidex, a Beontag company, has become the trusted partner for system integrators and end-users of high performing short-range wireless products to enable industrial IoT technologies throughout the world.

Excellent service, consistent quality and reliable products are in the DNA of our company – we are dedicated to gaining a total understanding of customer requirements and providing a solution for those, no matter how complex.

Together with other Beontag companies and our technology partners we build value-adding and sustainability driven solutions for asset management, traceability, authentication and real-time location services – applicable in manufacturing, supply chain and automotive industries.

Today, over 300 million assets are equipped with Confidex Tags and Labels.

For more information, visit

About Nordic ID

Nordic ID, a Brady Company, has been Europe’s leading provider of reliable item tracking and tracing solutions for over 30 years. We are a full service PaaS solutions company dedicated to solving our customers’ challenges with item flow management.

We bring every item a digital identity. Our RFID solutions ensure that the right amount of items are in the right places at the right time. We enable our customers to track and analyze the movement, status, and other relevant information of each individual item throughout its entire life cycle.

Our Nordic commitment to design and engineering underpins everything we do. We build all-in-one RFID solutions that are easy to use, sustainable, and firmly based on our customers’ needs.

For more information, visit:


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