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Consumer Packaged Goods Industry: Deferred Implementation Date for GS1 Coupon DataBar Necessary

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today announced that the last and final implementation step of the GS1 DataBar on coupons, originally scheduled for January 1, 2010, will be deferred until January 1, 2011.

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 barcode not be replaced with the GS1 DataBar on January 1, 2010. The research revealed that many retailers would not have the necessary equipment and POS software in place to implement the new GS1 Data Bar technology by 2010. Deferring implementation to 2011 ensures that the industry has adequate time to prepare for the transition.

The JICC emphasizes 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 code, reduced cashier intervention, improved scan rates and increased speed of checkout.

“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 senior vice president 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 Joint Industry Coupon Committee 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.