Where are barcodes accepted?
What restrictions do retailers place on barcodes?
These are common and important questions about the use of barcodes.
Broadly speaking, there are three main groups of retailers, as outlined below –
- One very small group of retailers effectively require you to be a member of GS1, a membership organisation that licenses barcodes. GS1 barcodes are complicated, slow to obtain, and expensive. (We compete with GS1 to provide suitable retail barcodes easily, quickly & cheaply)
- Another larger group of retailers frequently require barcode verification reports or Global Location Numbers (GLN)– we can supply these for you if needed. We are the only barcode reseller (that we know of) who can provide these for you.
- The majority of retailers worldwide will accept any legal and legitimate barcode.
Our barcodes are accepted by the vast majority of retailers worldwide. We are part of a network of about 100 barcode sellers in different countries worldwide, so through this network we gain up-to-date information about barcode acceptance.
The chart below shows some restrictions that we are aware of. However, with tens of thousands of retail stores in Malta, and millions of retailers worldwide, it is impossible for us to know all the restrictions on barcode use. So to be completely safe you should check with your specific retailer(s) prior to purchasing barcodes (unfortunately this can take a lot of time and effort, and it is often difficult to obtain this specific information from retailers).
For barcode acceptance on Amazon, check our Barcodes for Amazon page.
Compulsory GS1 Membership
There are many products using our barcodes in Foodstuffs NZ stores- however, Foodstuffs NZ has been changing their requirements recently, and are asking some suppliers using our barcodes to switch to GS1. We advise that you contact Foodstuffs NI or SI to check their requirements before purchasing barcodes.
Many of our customers hope to have their products sold at major retail chains like Foodstuffs Supermarkets, but realise they have a low chance of getting in and it may take many years. A viable option is to purchase barcodes from us know, with the possibility of being asked to switch to GS1 if a supermarket does decide to start stocking that product. This can be cheaper than paying GS1 fees for years while being stocked by retailers who don’t require it (most retailers in New Zealand).
Super Retail Group
The Super Retail Group requires suppliers to prove they are a current member of GS1. The super retail group in New Zealand owns Supercheap Auto, so if you want to sell there you are required to be a GS1 member. They also own Rebel Sports, however we have customers using our barcode in Rebel Sports stores so it doesn’t seem like they have the GS1 restriction. If you intend on selling in Rebel Sports, it’s safest to check with them.
The Super Retail Group requires suppliers to prove they are a current member of GS1. Companies in this group include: Amart Sports, BCF Boating Camping Fishing, Goldcross Cycles, FCO Fishing Camping Outdoors, Ray’s Ourdoors, Rebel, Supercheap Auto, Super Retail Commercial.
Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger/Fred Meyers, Macy’s/Bloomingdales and JC Penney’s all require you to be a current GS1 member according to our latest information. You can double check with them if you intend on selling there (it’s very difficult to get in unless you’re a huge company).
Some distributors mistakenly believe that the barcode shows the country of origin of the product. Hence, they prefer or require barcodes that come directly from GS1.
Barcode Verification or GLN
Foodstuffs NZ sometimes asks for a Verification Report from their suppliers. Historically customers using our barcodes have been able to get in to Foodstuffs NZ shops as long as they provide a verification report.
Countdown NZ often require a Verification Report for products they stock.
Bunnings NZ often require a Verification Report for products they stock.
Placemakers NZ often require a Verification Report for products they stock.
As of August 2016, some Four Square shops now ask for Verification Reports for products they stock.
All other stores such as Mitre 10, Nosh, Farro, Huckleberry etc accept our barcodes with no requirement for a report that we have heard of.
Coles suppliers are asked to submit a Barcode Verification Report when applying to become a supplier.
Metcash require Barcode Verification Reports for each level of packaging (retail unit, inner, outer).
Myers often require a Verification Report for products they stock.
Some IGA stores require Barcode Verification Reports.
Bunnings Australia require all new lines to have a Barcode Verification Report.
Mitre 10 Australia requires Barcode Verification Reports for new products being stocked at their stores.
The Good Guys are implementing an EDI system so they may require a GLN number to stock your product. We can provide GLN numbers, and The Good Guys have accepted products with our barcodes and our GLN numbers.
Woolworths Australia Central Branches require Barcode Verification Reports for all products. Previously they only accepted verification reports from GS1 Australia, however they have changed their policy to allow verification reports from other companies such as ourselves. You will need verification reports for your Retail Barcodes and your ITF-14 Carton Codes. Woolworths also say they “only re-sell products that have GS1-system barcodes”. Our barcodes come from the GS1 system, and we have many Australian customers using our barcodes in Woolworths Australia.
Musgraves require barcodes purchased from us to be listed as a UPC on their buyer form and entered without the leading 0. As long as this is done, they have no problems with our barcodes.
SuperValu is part of the Musgraves group, so require the same number format. They may request a GLN.
These are the only restrictions/exceptions we know of- all other retailers should accept our barcodes
If you find a retailer who won’t accept our barcodes for any reason or requires verification, please Contact Us so we can update this page and work with you to solve any barcode acceptance issues.
This is the most comprehensive list of restrictions we know of on the internet (please tell us if you find a more accurate one). Other barcode resellers give no warnings, or are vague – so don’t trust them. We put a lot of time and effort into making this as accurate as possible, so please Contact Us if we have missed any retailers.