Abstract: The RFID value proposition allows grocery retailers to remain competitive by boosting the supply chain overall efficiency and by generating substantial cost savings. Although these cited benefits are significant, the exact description of how they are attainable in practice has remained vague. Drawing on the preparation and implementation for a RFID pilot in the supply chain for short-life products, this paper discusses the practical issues that one might encounter and that might undermine the successful implementation of RFID. From the findings it emerges that while there are opportunities, there are also some major practical challenges in implementing RFID. These challenges include the placement of the RFID readers, the automation of the tagging process, tagging identification levels (i.e. case/pallet) and issues that are specific to the application. We argue that a fuller understanding and appreciation of these practical challenges informs the academic discourse around RFID and offers a valuable insight to grocery retailers on how to align their technology decisions with their business practices in the attempt to fully reap the benefits of RFID.