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    New Coupon Technology Takes Effect January 1

    UPC-A coupon code will be phased out by July 2011

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) today said that implementation of the new GS1 Databar for coupons is on schedule and that UPC-A barcodes may be removed from coupons beginning January 1, 2011.

    The GS1 Databar was adopted by the industry to replace the UPC-A code in 2007. 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.

    With the removal of UPC-A codes, retailers must be able to scan the GS1 Databar beginning January 1, 2011, or will be required to manually validate and enter the value for coupons that no longer have the UPC-A symbol.

    Manufacturers and other coupon publishers may remove the UPC-A code from coupons at their discretion between January 1 and June 30 of the coming year, but should confer with their trading partners about their readiness to scan the GS1 Databar before doing so.

    Beginning July 1, 2011, the GS1 Databar implementation should be complete and UPC-A symbols will no longer appear on coupons, according to GMA.

    Stakeholders should contact Logan Kastner, GMA senior manager, industry affairs, at [email protected] or 202-637-8065, with questions or concerns about the GS1 Databar implementation timeline.

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

    Based in Washington, D.C., the GMA represents more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies.
     

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