Industry Not Ready for GS1 DataBar: GMA

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Industry Not Ready for GS1 DataBar: GMA

The industry isn’t ready for the implementation of the GS1 DataBar on coupons, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) said this week after reviewing results from a survey on the issue conducted earlier this year.

GMA said that the response data from the survey suggests that removal of the UPC-A barcode as of Jan. 1, 2010, will create a significant hardship for many retailers who may not be equipped to scan the new GS1 DataBar by this date. “For this reason, the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) recommends that the UPC-A barcode not be removed from coupons beginning January 1, 2010,” GMA wrote in a statement on industry readiness.

The JICC recommends a deferred implementation date of Jan. 1, 2011, to help ensure that the industry has enough time to prepare for proper implementation of the GS1 DataBar. However, GMA noted that the JICC recommendation to defer implementation shouldn’t dissuade ready retailers that are eager to capitalize on the additional capabilities of the DataBar from beginning to scan the new symbol on or before Jan. 1, 2010.

The JICC is currently soliciting comment from industry stakeholders on the deferred GS1 DataBar implementation date. The review period runs through July 17, 2009. Stakeholders can contact Logan Kastner at [email protected] or 202-637-8065 to share additional feedback.

JICC works to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the development, distribution and redemption of coupons. Made up of individuals from retailers and manufacturers who oversee coupon programs, it includes representatives from GMA, Food Marketing Institute, National Grocers Association and National Association of Chain Drug Stores.