The 2D Codes of H&M

H&M Product Label

While most shops use linear codes of the GTIN family (UPC, EAN, etc). Clothing retailer H&M uses pretty wide 2D DataMatrix codes. So what is in this particular code?

Here is the data-dump, with the group separator (u001D) made visible and the application codes highlighted.


Basically, the data itself follows the usual GS1 structured format

The application code 01 identifies the first chunk as a GTIN, so we have GTIN code 07314222632387 which is registered in Sweden by H & M Hennes & Mauritz GBC AB, the second application code is 10 and identifies the batch number, so here we have batch number 10220154. As the batch number does not have a fixed length, this records ends with a group separator.

Next application is 240 which stands for Additional product identification assigned by the manufacturer, which here is 202002, which looks suspiciously like a date. Finally, we have code 21, which is the serial number, which is 115000005116. I find it pretty interesting to have a serial number for some children’s clothing, but as there is an RFID this kind of makes sense: these need to be unique.

There are other identifiers on this label:
08705160061127616, CH11220154 C10, and 8d1FC. The first code matches the product number: 0870516006, I suppose that suffix 11 is the child SKU, i.e. with the size. It is interesting that this code is not present in the DataMatrix with say application code 9X.

The second code has some overlap with the batch code: 10220154 vs CH11220154 which also seems to link that particular batch to Switzerland.

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