News • 01.07.2019

45th anniversary of the barcode in retail

GS1 US celebrates the barcode’s relevance as the backbone of commerce

Graphic of a barcode with an anniversary-text; copyright: GS1 US...
Source: GS1 US

GS1 US®, the information standards organization best known as the administrator of UPC barcodes, this week celebrates 45 years since the debut and first scan of the iconic barcode. On June 26, 1974, a pack of Wrigley's chewing gum carrying a Universal Product Code (UPC) was scanned at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio. This historic milestone marked the beginning of the modern shopping experience. Today, the barcode is scanned more than six billion times daily and continues to be one of the most trusted symbols in the world, powering global commerce.

"Since being introduced in the grocery sector, the barcode has enabled countless modern conveniences for consumers and paved the way for emerging technologies," said Bob Carpenter, president and CEO of GS1 US. "From same-day delivery to patient bedside scanning that ensures administration of the proper medication, millions of transactions and processes would not be possible without barcodes and the underlying standards that uniquely identify products, services, locations and more in real time."

The first barcode scan was the culmination of years of collaboration by inventors and the grocery industry to minimize long supermarket checkout lines. Brands and retailers needed a method to automatically capture product information, reduce human error and manage the influx of post-World War II baby-boom shoppers. While inventor Norman Joseph Woodland and classmate Bernard Silver developed the first barcode concept – a circular, bullseye-shaped design that incorporated lines and spaces – in 1973, the grocery industry selected the linear UPC barcode as the preferred standard, created by IBM engineer George Lauer.

The Uniform Product Code Council, later named GS1, was the designated administrator of barcode standards in 1974, and helped brand owners use barcodes and a numbering system — today known as GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) — to uniquely identify their products at point-of-sale, giving access to price information. This system also helped enhance inventory management to keep shelves stocked and allow for lower pricing due to gained efficiencies.

Since the original UPC, product identification standards (now GS1 Standards) have grown into a global system, used by more than two million companies doing business in 150 countries across 25 industries. Additionally, multiple versions and uses of the barcode have been created to fit modern requirements and convey more data using the same numbering system.

QR codes, for example, evolved to provide consumers with detailed product information and support mobile scanning applications. Also, radio frequency identification (RFID) has provided retailers the ability to locate specific items in stock and more purchase flexibility such as buy online pick-up in store. Other advanced barcodes help to locate products during a recall or identify counterfeit goods so that they can be removed from stock.

More information about GS1 US and the history of the barcode, including videos and infographics.

Source: GS1 US

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Nets and Swish partner on in-store payments pilot...
23.07.2019   #mobile payment #mobile terminals

Nets and Swish partner on in-store payments pilot

Bluetooth tech enables scalable instore payments for mobile payment app

Nets, a European payments company, and Swish, the number one payments app in Sweden, announce their collaboration on an in-store payments pilot program.Until now, Swish has mostly been used for account-to-account transactions and, more recently, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Changing markets: embracing disruption to harvest opportunity...
18.06.2019   #digitization #event

Changing markets: embracing disruption to harvest opportunity

Reporting from the first annual Retail & Brand Experience World Congress in Barcelona

More than 200 industry insiders highlighted the many challenges facing the retail sector today in interesting talks and lectures.Topics included the customer experience, the use of technologies, digital media, omnichannel strategies, personalization ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Cash Register Security Regulation
13.09.2019   #security #cashpoints

Cash Register Security Regulation

Status quo and remaining tasks

In Germany, the so-called Kassensicherungsverordnung (KassenSichV or Cash Register Security Regulation) enters into force on January 1, 2020, and will affect more than three million point of sale (PoS) systems. At that time, cash registers in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New year brings new regulations
13.09.2019   #data management #receipt printer

New year brings new regulations

What are the big changes for German point of sales systems come 2020?

Big changes are coming to Germany’s point of sale systems starting January 1, 2020. Two terms that are tossed around in this connection are "Belegausgabepflicht" (Receipt Provision Ordinance) and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital Signage Summit Europe - 30 % discount...
07.06.2019   #customer analysis #marketing

Digital Signage Summit Europe - 30 % discount

Many of the world’s foremost digital signage experts, thought leaders and leading technology and service suppliers will come together to present a unique mix of keynotes, conference channels, awards and exhibition showcase.

Now in its 14th year, DSS Europe is the leading European strategy event exploring the business and technology of Digital Signage and DooH - here is a 30% code for our readers – 415839The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Customer ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Frictionless checkout across all channels to build loyalty...
04.07.2019   #mobile payment #customer satisfaction

Frictionless checkout across all channels to build loyalty

H&M and Klarna elevate the shopping experience for US consumers

H&M and Klarna announced that they have expanded their current partnership agreement to also include the US market, in the development of an unrivalled payments and shopping experience across touchpoints. Together, H&M and Klarna are aiming ...

Thumbnail-Photo: APG announces the hiring of Mr. Paul Griffiths as its new president and...
09.08.2019   #cash management #cash drawers

APG announces the hiring of Mr. Paul Griffiths as its new president and CEO

Global cash management solution manufacturer welcomes its new president & CEO Paul Griffiths

APG Cash Drawer, a global manufacturer of cash management solutions announces the hiring of Mr. Paul Griffiths as its President and CEO. Most recently, Mr. Griffiths was the CEO of Birchwood Casey, a sporting goods company working with large ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Silver Surfers: Older adults ride the wave of mobile technology and shop...
01.08.2019   #online trading #e-commerce

Silver Surfers: Older adults ride the wave of mobile technology and shop online

The increasing importance of e-commerce for senior citizens

You are wrong if you think it’s mostly young people who spend time online. Older adults are also increasingly embracing online shopping with enthusiasm.In this interview, Spencer Hinzen, Director of Sales, Central Region, Ruckus Networks, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Internal communication via app at Modehaus Ramelow...
03.06.2019   #personnel management #app

Internal communication via app at Modehaus Ramelow

Mobile chat works as a bulletin board

What's new at Modehaus Ramelow? The fashion retailer’s employees can check PIA - and share information to their heart’s content. PIA is an app for "private information exchange".More and more internal communication ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The future of retail: AI is changing everything...
08.07.2019   #digital marketing #visual merchandising

The future of retail: AI is changing everything

AI-enabled systems help retailers understand their customers

For retailers, winning is still all about delighting the customer. The trick is to move fast enough and to be as nimble as possible to satisfy the customer not only today, but in the future. ...

Supplier

Superdata GmbH
Superdata GmbH
Ruhrstr. 90
22761 Hamburg
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Aschmattstr. 8
76532 Baden-Baden
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen