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NACDS supports delaying the implementation of the GS1 DataBar technology


ALEXANDRIA, Va. Editor’s Note: The story that appeared June 23 regarding the removal of the UPC-A bar code system may not have been clear. UPC-A symbol was slated to be removed from manufacturer coupons in January 2010, not from the marketplace.

An organization representing the country’s retail pharmacy chains expressed its support for postponing the removal of the universal product code bar code system.

The UPC-A bar code was scheduled to be removed from the U.S. manufacturers' coupons beginning on Jan. 1, 2010. NACDS complimented and supported the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s recommendation that the GS1 DataBar system implementation be delayed until Jan. 1, 2011.

The Joint Industry Coupons Committee, of which NACDS is a member, believed this deadline could create undue and significant economic hardship for America’s consumers, businesses and retailers, who may not be ready or equipped to handle the new coupon system. JICC also recommended that the GS1 DataBar system implementation be delayed until Jan. 1, 2011.

“In this tough economic environment, it is justifiable to temporarily postpone the implementation of the new GS1 DataBar technology,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “This mandated technology change – especially for those surrounding money-saving coupons – must be viewed through the lens of the economic reality faced by retailers and their valued customers.”

In its original statement, GMA said that “the GS1 DataBar readiness survey was disseminated mid-March 2009 to the industry to solicit feedback pertaining to retailer/manufacturer readiness for the Jan. 1, 2010 implementation of the GS1 DataBar on coupons,” GMA said in their statement. “The response data from this survey suggests that removal of the UPC-A barcode beginning 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 recommends that the UPC-A barcode not be removed from coupons beginning Jan. 1, 2010. 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.

“The JICC recommendation to defer implementation should not 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,” GMA added.

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