You are here
Independent grocers may be aware of the upcoming GS1 DataBar “sunrise date” of January 2014, but many say they won’t be ready for it, according to a study conducted by the National Grocers Association (NGA).
The GS1 DataBar was launched January 2008 with the introduction of the “Interim” DataBar coupon code, whereby manufacturers are producing coupons including both the UPC-A code and the GS1 DataBar.
According to the current industry timetable, by Jan. 1, 2011 manufacturers will migrate from using both the UPC/EAN and GS1 DataBar coupon prefixes to only the GS1 Databar on coupons. Retailers will need to be able to process the DataBar on point-of-sale hardware and software.
January 2014 is set as a global implementation target (Sunrise Date) for GS1 DataBar. At this time, manufacturers of fresh foods, produce, consumer packaged goods and pharmaceuticals should begin to use the new GS1 DataBar on their products.
Overall, awareness is high for the upcoming GS1 DataBar sunrise date, according to NGA research, which revealed that 88 percent of the membership was aware of the plans to replace the UPC-A and 128 symbols with the GS1 DataBar, and about 85 percent were aware of the implementation deadline for the change in coupons.
But almost half (49 percent) of those surveyed weren’t ready for GS1 DataBar-only coupons. Only 27 percent had POS scanning equipment that was ready to scan the DataBar, 16 percent had POS software that could process the DataBar, and only 7 percent had POS transaction logs and downstream applications ready to process the DataBar.
Just 27 percent of retailers surveyed said that they were ready now to begin scanning the new DataBar on coupons. Thirty-five percent said they would be ready between June 2010 and December 2010, but the majority, 38 percent, said they wouldn’t be ready by the January 2011 date. Of those respondents, over 75 percent didn’t know when they would be ready. The remaining 25 percent indicated they would be DataBar-ready in a range of dates between 2011 and 2012.
Out of all the respondents, over 51 percent were single store-operators. The second-largest group (27 percent) were retailers with between two and 10 stores. Rounding out the rest of those retailers surveyed were those with 11 to 25 stores, (11 percent), and 25-plus stores (10 percent). These demographics reflect current NGA membership ratios.
To help with the transition, GS1 US has created a Starter Kit, which provides retailers with the tools and information they need for a successful adoption of the GS1 DataBar. The kit covers such topics as selecting program leaders, supplier and vendor management, planning for private label products, preparations for changes in applications, and training personnel.
For more information on the GS1 DataBar, and to access the starter kit, visit http://www.gs1.org/barcodes/databar.