Global barcode and product identification company GS1 has announced it is to acquire product photography company Images in Space Ltd. Images in Space supplies digital photography and image management to many FMCG manufacturers and retailers operating in New Zealand, including supermarket owner Foodstuffs.
GS1 operates a number of retail-relevant services, including barcodes, RFID and the product recall coordination service ProductRecallNZ. It allows retailers like Foodstuffs, Warehouse Stationery, Mitre 10 and others to share one set of “master data” with customers through an initiative called National Product Catalogue, and its Smart Media service handles multimedia files and digital assets, giving GS1 ssome crossover with Images in Space.
GS1 chief executive Peter Stevens says the acquisition of Images in Space maskes sense as both companies support businesses’ growing need for high-quality product data and digital images.
“The exchange of high quality product data between trading partners is now critical for reliable and efficient commerce,” he says. “In today’s increasingly ‘omni-channel’ digital marketplace, it is becoming critical also to complement product data with high-quality photography and other digital media assets.”
Stevens says Images in Space customers will continue to receive their current Fetch, iBank, MiBank and other services, these being operated in parallel with GS1’s Smart Media service.
All current employees of Images in Space will join GS1, and its former owner and chief executive Barry Pyle will stay on with GS1 as general manager services.
Pyle says he has always been a strong supporter of GS1 standards: “It’s great to be joining, with my team, the GS1 family. The acquisition provides a wonderful opportunity to combine the strengths of Images in Space and GS1 and improve our service offerings for the benefit of everyone and meet the omnichannel challenge.”