Many Independents Won’t Be Ready for Coupon DataBar: NGA

ARLINGTON, Va. — While awareness of the upcoming GS1 DataBar sunrise date for coupons is high among independent retailers, 38% said they would not be ready by the January 2011 date, according to an online member survey conducted last month by the National Grocers Association here.

ARLINGTON, Va. — While awareness of the upcoming GS1 DataBar sunrise date for coupons is high among independent retailers, 38% said they would not be ready by the January 2011 date, according to an online member survey conducted last month by the National Grocers Association here.

In a letter to its membership sent late last month, NGA reported that 88% were aware of plans to replace the UPC-A and 128 symbols on coupons with the GS1 DataBar, which contains far more data, including expiration dates, than current bar codes; about 85% were aware of the implementation deadline for the change in coupons.

However, 49% of those surveyed were not ready for GS1 DataBar-only coupons. Only 27% had POS scanning equipment that was ready to scan the DataBar; 16% had POS software that could process the DataBar and only 7% had POS transaction logs and downstream applications ready to process the DataBar.

In addition, 27% of retailers surveyed said that they were ready now to begin scanning the new DataBar on coupons and 35% said they would be ready between June 2010 and December 2010. But 38% said they would not be ready by the January 2011 date. Of those respondents, over 75% did not know when they would be ready. The remaining 25% indicated they would be DataBar-ready between 2011 and 2012.

“Now is the time for retailers to start assessing where they are in terms of GS1 DataBar readiness and what their next steps should be by setting up a complete GS1 DataBar project,” said Frank DiPasquale, executive vice president, NGA, in the letter. To help with the transition, he said, GS1 US, Lawrenceville, N.J., has created a starter kit that provides retailers with “the tools and information they need for a successful adoption of the GS1 DataBar.”

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