Retiring Traditional Coupon Barcodes

BarcodesRetailers should be preparing themselves for the retirement of UPC Prefix 5 barcodes from manufacturer coupons. After June 30, 2015 these coupons will be replaced by the GS1 DataBar™ format. The Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) said that most existing scanning systems in retail are capable of reading the GS1 DataBar™. To ensure retailers are ready for the switch over, they need to enable the functionality in their systems. To avoid being behind in the marketplace after June 30, it is recommended retailers switch their systems as early as possible.

The use of the GS1 DataBar™ will be beneficial to retailers by providing coupon redemption efficiencies, reducing coupon fraud, automatically checking coupon expiration dates, tying double-coupon value limits to exact purchase requirements and allowing for retailer specific coupons. Failure to switch over barcodes in time could result in a number of complications for retailers including processing expired coupons, increasing cashier labor to manually process coupons, and preventing customers from using coupons during self checkout.

The decision to move to exclusive use of the GS1 DataBar™ was announced in 2007, with the phase out period for UPC Prefix 5 barcodes beginning in 2011 and concluding June 30, 2015.  For additional information, visit the GS1 US web site at