Retail

Ever since the barcode on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum was scanned at a supermarket in Ohio in 1974, GS1 has made a significant contribution to the efficiency of the retail supply chain and the overall growth of the retail industry.

Manufacturers and retailers established GS1 to enable them to agree to mutually beneficial standards. Today, GS1 standards mean much more than the barcode and include standards for electronic business messaging, data synchronisation and RFID-based identification and solutions to a range of business issues.

In addition, GS1 brings together all stakeholders in the retail supply chain – manufacturers, distributors, retailers, transporters, customs organisations, software developers, local and international regulatory authorities, and more. These companies, who may in fact have conflicting business interests, work together under our leadership to agree upon standards that make the supply chain faster, more effective, less complex and less costly.

Today, GS1 is working with the retail sector on a number of key initiatives:

  • GS1 DataBar is allowing more information to be stored in less space and expanding barcoding to categories such as fresh foods
  • EPCglobal RFID technology is revolutionising the way that products are tracked though the supply chain and transforming product identification into product visibility.

Fresh foods

Today’s Fresh Foods industry is part of a global supply chain that is facing unique and significant demands and challenges, including consumer safety, food waste, product freshness, and farm-to-fork traceability. While efficiency and safety are key, many parts of its supply chain do not share the same standards as that of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. The implementation of global standards helps industry drive out waste in several ways. Better product information makes it easier for consumers and trading partners to select the right product, which in turn reduces costs, provides customers with accurate product information they can use, and lays the foundation for product traceability. All of this translates to improved food safety, and more efficient supply chains.

According to the Planet Retail/IBM report “The Challenge of Food Waste”, between 50 and 60 percent of supermarket sales come from fresh food categories, yet it is estimated that 5 to 7 percent of fresh foods are lost to poor management. This means that food shrinkage and waste can cost retailers up to 4% of their overall revenue. Taking into account the industry’s razor-thin margins, unsold items are a major challenge for food retailers.Over the last ten years, retailers have made significant improvements in reducing food waste through the implementation of automated replenishment, based on forecasting software. “Inventory optimisation” in produce (fruits & vegetables) and in-store produced food is now on the radar for retailers. These systems are slowly closing the gap between predicted and actual sales.
One of the tools getting them there is the deployment of the GS1 DataBar barcodes, which enables retailers to offer automated markdowns at the cash register, and utilising real time inventory management systems to maintain accurate stock levels at all times.

Over the last ten years, retailers have made significant improvements in reducing food waste through the implementation of automated replenishment, based on forecasting software. “Inventory optimisation” in produce (fruits & vegetables) and in-store produced food is now on the radar for retailers. These systems are slowly closing the gap between predicted and actual sales.
One of the tools getting them there is the deployment of the GS1 DataBar barcodes, which enables retailers to offer automated markdowns at the cash register, and utilising real time inventory management systems to maintain accurate stock levels at all times.

More about GS1 and Fresh Food:http://www.gs1.org/fresh-foods