Monday, June 06, 2011
CODE BREAKERS | Port Townsend co-op shows how #QR codes can be a low-cost way to promote local vendors and educate shoppers #qrcode #qrchat
Video: Isabella, 9-year-old KidReporter, introduces her mother, Anca Hasson, owner Pastry Design By Anca, on a grey summer day at the Chimacum Farmers Market.
Technology & Operations Editor
The Food Co-op in Port Townsend, Wash., a 39-year-old organic food market near Seattle with 5,000 active members, is carving out an unusual distinction for itself: the U.S. food store with one of the more active quick response (QR)-code programs.
About a year ago, the 11,000-square-foot co-op with $11 million in annual sales launched an educational program to promote local and regional vendors with QR codes, the square, checkered two-dimensional bar codes that link smartphones to all manner of digital content. The co-op is demonstrating that QR codes can be implemented at retail on a shoestring budget.
The co-op began placing QR-code-bearing signage on shelves in multiple departments alongside of products from such suppliers as Dave's Killer Bread, Small Planet Organics, ECO apples, Duck Creek Quacker & Spice, Pastry Design By Anca, Guayaki herbal tea and Mt. Townsend Creamery. Shoppers scanning the QR codes with their smartphones are mostly treated to YouTube videos about the vendors.
Earlier this year, the store put up a bulletin board display with a QR-code primer and all of the vendor QR codes, as well as codes linked to videos of co-op staff and board members.
Posted by JOlmsted at 12:14 PM