Price Look-Up (PLU)

Tags: Glossary

Used for retail products sold loose, bunched, or in bulk (to identify the different types of fruit, for example). As opposed to UPC (Universal Product Codes) for packaged, fixed-weight retail items, a PLU code contains 4-5 digits in total. The PLU is entered before an item is weighed to determine its price.

What is Price Look-Up (PLU)?

Price Look-Up (PLU)

In the world of retail, the Price Look-Up (PLU) system plays a crucial role in identifying and pricing loose, bunched, or bulk products. While Universal Product Codes (UPC) are commonly used for packaged and fixed-weight retail items, PLU codes are specifically designed for products that are sold without packaging or in varying quantities, such as fruits and vegetables.

A PLU code consists of 4-5 digits and serves as a unique identifier for a specific type of product. These codes are typically entered into a point-of-sale (POS) system before the item is weighed, allowing the system to determine its price based on the entered PLU code. This ensures accurate pricing and eliminates the need for manual calculations.

The primary purpose of PLU codes is to streamline the checkout process and provide retailers with a standardized method of pricing loose products. By using PLU codes, retailers can easily differentiate between various types of fruits, vegetables, and other loose items, ensuring that customers are charged the correct amount for their purchases.

PLU codes also serve additional purposes beyond pricing. They can be used to track inventory, monitor sales data, and facilitate the management of product information. By associating PLU codes with specific products, retailers can efficiently manage their stock levels, analyze sales trends, and make informed decisions regarding product assortment and pricing strategies.

For consumers, PLU codes can provide valuable information about the origin and characteristics of a product. Some PLU codes include additional digits that indicate whether the product is conventionally grown, organically grown, or genetically modified. This allows consumers to make informed choices based on their preferences and dietary requirements.

In conclusion, the Price Look-Up (PLU) system is an essential component of the retail industry, particularly for loose, bunched, or bulk products. By utilizing PLU codes, retailers can accurately price and track inventory, while consumers can make informed decisions about the products they purchase. The use of PLU codes ensures efficiency, accuracy, and transparency in the retail supply chain, benefiting both retailers and consumers alike.

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