With more and more people around the world shopping in supermarkets, the inevitable has happened.?
With more and more people around the world shopping in supermarkets, the inevitable has happened. Computers have come to supermarkets.
In the United States, new systems of computerised checkouts have been developed and several leading supermarket chains are experimenting with them. Grocery lists are being completely stamped out by machines saving time, labour and, perhaps in the long-run, money.
One of the new systems being tested in New Jersey goes even further. Using a laser beam, groceries are weighed, priced by computer and packed all in one motion.
It seems to be the answer to the grocer's dream. But there are problems. The new system means pricing items individually is now unnecessary.
But supermarket chiefs have realised that customers want to see the price of groceries before they buy. This means the time-consuming step of pricing the items cannot be eliminated - at least until customers are ready to adapt to the new method. The computers are also very expensive and any savings to shoppers through the electronic supermarkets could be a long way off.