Shares of radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions provider Impinj (NASDAQ:PI) jumped on Friday in reaction to the news that Amazon was acquiring Whole Foods Market. Amazon is a member of the RAIN Alliance, a body that promotes RF tagging. Impinj stock was up about 17% at 3 p.m. EDT.
Impinj sells RFID chips that are used to track objects. These chips are already used in a variety of industries, including retail. With Amazon making its first big leap into brick-and-mortar retail with the acquisition of Whole Foods, speculation that the e-commerce giant will use RFID technology to make its stores more efficient is driving up Impinj stock.
A RAIN Alliance meeting, co-hosted by Impinj and Amazon, is set for late July, and investors may learn more about Amazon's ambitions at that time. Impinj could also be an acquisition target for Amazon if it ends up implementing RFID technology broadly.
RFID technology could eventually lead to Whole Foods locations with no checkouts, similar to the Amazon Go grocery store concept. Amazon's intentions with the upscale grocery chain are at this point unclear, but it's not too far-fetched to believe that the company is headed in that direction. That could be a boon for Impinj, but it's all speculation at the moment.