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NACDS supports postponement of UPC barcode system removal


Alexandria, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores said Tuesday it supports delaying the removal of the Universal Product Code barcode system -- scheduled for Jan. 1, 2010.

The NACDS stand supports the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s recommendation that the GS1 DataBar system implementation be postponed 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 Steven C. 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.”

Currently, the UPC-A barcode is scheduled to be completely removed from the U.S. marketplace beginning on Jan. 1, 2010. The Joint Industry Coupons Committee, of which NACDS is a member, believes 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.

“To ensure a seamless transition to the new technology of the GS1 DataBar for coupons, both our members and our customers must be prepared for the system overhaul,” said Anderson.

He added that because coupons serve as a critical promotional vehicle for both manufacturers and retailers, as well as a savings tool for consumers, it is important that all parties are prepared for a change before it occurs.

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