Retailers are being advised to check their epos systems for compatibility with a new barcode format that comes into effect from 2014.

The GS1 DataBar is half the size of the current EAN-13 barcode and therefore can be placed on smaller items such as loose fresh produce. The GS1 DataBar also contains data on expiry dates, weights, batch numbers and serial numbers. 

A website at has been set up to provide guidance on all aspects of the new barcode in order to help independent retailers ensure their readiness for its 2014 introduction.

The site also provides a list of scanners that are already compliant with the new system. While the majority of equipment purchased since 2000 should be compatible with the new code, some installations will need upgrades and most will require the GS1 mode to be switched on.
It is hoped that the new barcode will eliminate the need for manually keying in product codes and speed up transactions at the check out enabling a better level of customer service.
GS1 UK solutions manager Tim Brown says that retailers need to start planning now for the changeover. “We have launched the new GS1 DataBar website to help retailers, both small and large, to be ready for the 2014 adoption date,” he said. “It is essential that stores start planning and checking their equipment and systems now to be able to offer customers a faster, more convenient shopping experience, whilst benefiting from improved efficiency.”