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The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is deferring the final implementation step of the GS1 DataBar on coupons for one year because the industry isn’t ready yet to meet the original deadline.
The implementation was scheduled for Jan. 1, 2010. After collecting both quantitative survey data and qualitative feedback from retail and supplier representatives during a public comment period, the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) affirmed its earlier recommendation that the UPC-A bar code not be replaced with the GS1 DataBar on that date. The research revealed that many retailers wouldn’t have the necessary equipment and POS software in place to implement the new GS1 Data Bar technology by 2010. Deferring implementation to Jan. 1, 2011, ensures that the industry has adequate time to prepare for the transition.
“Despite the deferred implementation position of the committee, the JICC encourages retailers to proceed with implementation of the GS1 DataBar as soon as they are ready and not wait until the 2011 date,” said Stephen Sibert, GMA SVP of industry affairs. “Early adoption will help ensure the smoothest transition possible and allow manufacturers and retailers to fulfill our shared mission of serving consumers quickly and efficiently.”
The JICC emphasized that the industry should expedite work toward the final implementation and the various benefits that the GS1 DataBar will bring to both retailers and manufacturers. Upon implementation, manufacturers will have the opportunity to develop more robust coupon offers, including coupon values in any amount up to $999.99. Retailers will experience automatic expiration date checking, a reduced need for bypass codes, reduced cashier intervention, improved scan rates and increased speed of checkout.
The JICC works to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the development, distribution and redemption of coupons. It consists of individuals from retailers and manufacturers who oversee coupon programs, and includes representatives from GMA, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Grocers Association, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
Washington-based GMA represents food, beverage and consumer products companies; promotes sound public policy; champions initiatives that increase productivity and growth; and works to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence.