A year of progress

2016-17 GS1 UK Annual Review

The numbers


Increase in membership



Total growth in 2016-17

New members trading online

Total membership

Last 5 years

Growth areas



A landmark year of growing influence

In a turbulent year of political changes and economic uncertainty, I’m proud to say we achieved another strong year of membership growth, with over 4,000 new companies joining our community. This 6% net growth was our strongest in 5 years and we now have over 31,000 members in the UK.

Driven by changes in the UK housing market and online sellers providing ever more homewares for the British public, our top growth sectors were general merchandise, home improvements and DIY, with over 1,300 new companies joining. The apparel sector also continued its strong growth of recent years, with over 600 companies joining as retailers and brands continued to implement GS1 standards throughout their operations.

But 2016/17 was also a year of milestones for GS1 UK. We saw our influence grow considerably, with all our key programmes gaining strong backing from industry leaders. This was shown when we hosted the annual GS1 General Assembly, with a superb line-up of top industry speakers – with Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal topping the bill.

Gary Lynch



We also found time to move offices to a central London location where we look forward to meeting many of our members in the years ahead. And I’m especially pleased that our staff continued to raise funds – over £10,000 – for our nominated charity, The Silver Line, to help them deliver their invaluable support for older people.

So, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone – colleagues, members and partners in industry –  who worked so hard to deliver such a successful year.

Transforming product data management for today’s grocery world

During the past 12 months, we have made enormous progress with our Digital DNA programme. What started with our Retail Grocery Advisory Board meeting for the first time to discuss common problems they faced, has turned into a programme that will transform the industry. The Digital DNA service, which will soon be in operational use and fully launched in 2018, will reset the fundamentals of sharing product data between retailers and suppliers. It will provide one way of introducing new products, one way of making changes, one language to describe products and a single product view. Which is why 12 leading retailers and suppliers recently signed the Digital DNA Industry Charter – again showing how we are working closely with retailers and suppliers of all sizes to ensure that the solution is designed and governed by industry, for industry. 

It’s all about the Power of Standards

We never forget that everything we do is built on the power of GS1 standards. Watch our new film which shows how they really do transform the way we all work and live.


Championing trade in 2017

As Chairman of GS1 UK, I’m immensely proud of the fact GS1 standards help over 31,000 members in the UK and over two million companies globally to trade more efficiently.

James Spittle



Our standards are an enabler of trade within the UK, and across borders, from one side of the world to the other. It’s why we’ve been the global language of business for over 40 years.

With such a large and growing community of members, we’re uniquely positioned as a barometer of industry trends. We can also take the pulse of our members on issues that affect them. This helped us to produce two reports based on insight and intelligence gathered from our members.

Buying British in 2017 – which looked

at how the British public are once

again falling in love with British goods.

Defending cross-border trade: An agenda for export – which set out the views of over 1,000 SME businesses on the possible impact of Brexit and the global resurgence of protectionism.

These reports received widespread coverage across national and trade media – helping us grow our influence and voice of authority on behalf of

our members. In the year ahead we

will continue to voice our members’ views and explain how the power of GS1 standards continues to support

and enable trade in the UK and globally.

Read our full financial results

for 2016-17

We’d love to see you at our annual meet-up and AGM

All our members are invited to attend our annual meet-up and AGM where you can learn more about our work. It’s on Tuesday 17 October from 4.00pm at 30 Euston Square, London.

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

Registered office Hasilwood House, 60 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AW. VAT number GB287940215