40 years of supporting our members

and driving industry change

Annual Review 2015/16

We’ve joined GS1 UK as we're taking our next steps into retail – online and offline – and we wanted to be prepared for this. We felt confident to join GS1 UK because of their heritage and legitimacy. We’ve allocated our first set of GS1 numbers to our products and we will be using them on Amazon.

Tracey Taylor, Director at Taylor Blake

Growing our community

We're now





Growth in online marketplaces

Growth in online marketplaces

All major online marketplaces – including Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping – now use GS1 standards to help manage their product catalogues. 

Because of this we’ve seen hundreds of marketplace sellers join us in the past year. By using unique GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) to identify their products it’s easier for online shoppers to find, compare and buy what they’re looking for. Which means happier customers – and more sales.

Where we've seen growth
Growth in Healthcare

Growth in healthcare

In 2015 we achieved a significant milestone – all 154 NHS Acute Trusts in England are now members of GS1 UK.

But we haven’t stopped there. We continue to work closely with the Department of Health and Trusts throughout England to help them implement GS1 standards across their estates and with all their suppliers. By doing this we’re helping the NHS save thousands of lives and millions of pounds. 

Growth in apparel

We’re seeing more and more leading apparel retailers and brands adopting GS1 standards – our apparel membership has increased by 89% in the last year.

New members include leading high street names like Arcadia Group, Debenhams, Monsoon, Accessorize, Jane Norman, Peacocks and Sweaty Betty. They’ve joined because they see the power of GS1 standards – and how they can drive efficiencies and remove operating costs. They understand how our global standards can help them open up their supply chains, supporting concession sales and international expansion.

Growth in Apparel
GS1 UK Healthcare
GS1 UK Apparel
GS1 UK Retail

Our 30,000th member – Taylor Blake 

In recent years, we’ve seen thousands of smaller companies join us – many of them selling through online marketplaces. And we’ve seen more apparel companies join too, making this our fastest growing sector.


So, it’s fitting that our 30,000th member is Taylor Blake, a new British shoe brand. Their business is growing quickly through online sales – and now they’re about to sell through Amazon too.

Our 30,000th member
Tackling industry challenges



NHS Acute Trusts

  are GS1 UK members

Our new Advisory Boards

Last year we created three new Advisory Boards – in apparel, retail grocery and healthcare.

Our Advisory Boards bring together key business leaders, policy makers and opinion formers to help us understand the challenges their industries face and how we can support them – through the development and wider adoption of GS1 standards. They provide guidance for our strategies and support our industry-led programmes.

GS1 UK Advisory Boards

Supporting the new GS1 healthcare demonstrator sites

In 2016 the Department of Health chose six Trusts to receive support and a share of £12m funding. The six sites of excellence will demonstrate the significant efficiencies and cost savings, reduced errors and improved patient safety that GS1 and PEPPOL standards deliver – while giving invaluable insight into the true costs and practical challenges too. 

The six sites are Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. The Department of Health is expected to announce funding for 25 more demonstrator sites soon.

Industry programmes

It’s been another strong year of membership growth. I’m especially pleased to see
how our standards are being increasingly used in new industries – like online marketplaces and apparel. This demonstrates how our open, global standards continue to support our members and help new sectors to benefit from them. But of course we
can never stay still. The new GTIN Management Standard and GS1 SmartSearch have both been developed in response to the changing needs of the retail market,

driven by the demands of online shoppers.

Finally, I am thrilled by our continued progress in healthcare. There is real momentum now, as everyone recognises the benefits that our standards bring. We’re working hard to support their implementation by every Trust across the country. Helping the NHS save thousands of lives and millions

of pounds benefits all of us, and I am proud of everyone at GS1 UK and our many partners who all

play a vital role in this transformation.

Gary Lynch, CEO, GS1 UK

Supporting the new GS1 healthcare demonstrator sites
Setting new standards
GS1 UniqueID and the new GTIN Management Standard

GS1 UniqueID and the new GTIN Management Standard

GS1 UniqueID is a new programme dedicated to making GTIN management, and the sharing of data about minor product changes, simpler and more effective. 


Our ultimate goal is to provide consumers with the right product information at the right time. To achieve this we will provide a more approachable and easy to understand system that encourages consistency and widespread use, and global standards that enable companies to operate in a global, omnichannel retail market. In June 2016 we released the new GTIN Management Standard – a key step in making GS1 UniqueID a reality.

In our 40th year, the 20,000 calls and 10,000 emails we received from our members highlighted the growing complexity of doing business – particularly online. Selling through marketplaces has become the new normal for most businesses. But these channels, and the opportunities they provide for doing business globally, present new challenges. Trading is now more complex than ever before. And this means the common foundation of GS1 standards for identification has never been more important.

Which is why it is vital that our standards keep pace with industry changes. This year we’ve benefitted from the involvement of many new members, helping us shape our standards to the needs of industry. I’m seeing greater levels of collaboration across all our work, with more members coming together around the table to address tough operational challenges faced by their industries. Our role as a facilitator of this dialogue is increasingly valued.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the hard work of everyone at GS1 UK, and also the guidance of the Supervisory Board and now, our new industry Advisory Boards. I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and I look forward to further success in the future. 

And finally, I would like to personally offer my sincere appreciation to Andrew Osborne, Chief Technical Officer of GS1 UK, who is retiring in October after almost 40 years of outstanding service to the industry and all our members. 



James Spittle, Chairman, GS1 UK


Annual General Meeting

and 'GS1 UK in Focus' event is on

29 November 2016

In 2016 we celebrated our 



Supporting Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping

As online marketplaces look to improve how we find, compare and buy products online, they need a better understanding of what exactly is in their product catalogues – which is why they’re asking sellers to use GS1 standards to identify their products.

In the past year we’ve seen eBay mandate the use of GS1 GTINs for most branded product listings, Google Shopping Ads require GTINs for all branded products where the manufacturer has assigned one, and Amazon make clear that GTINs, for use on their platform, should only be sourced directly from GS1.

Supporting Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping

GS1 SmartSearch

Our GS1 SmartSearch standard allows businesses to increase sales through more relevant search results and more detailed and accurate product information displayed in search results. 

GS1 SmartSearch achieves these benefits by making it possible to create structured data about a product and relate this data to its GTIN. The structured data about the product is then used by search engines or smartphone apps to deliver a richer experience to the customer.

Read our full financial

results for 2015/16

We raised over 


for our nominated charity

The Silver Line

GS1 UK is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 01256140.

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