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Archive for Wednesday, November 28, 2012

25 years ago: Holiday shoppers encounter bar codes on merchandise

November 28, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Nov. 28, 1987:

As shoppers flocked to department stores around the nation this holiday season, retail clerks were learning to work with the new automated equipment that had been a staple at grocery store checkout lines for about a decade. The goal, according to an article today, was "to automate transactions with devices that read the Universal Product Codes, or bar codes -- the clustered lines of varying widths -- that are printed on products." Most shoppers were welcoming the time-saving codes and checkout devices, but some were concerned that the new systems would erode customer privacy by tracking purchases and creating shopper profiles. Still others were concerned only about the possibility of price errors, as store managers admitted that the kinks were still being worked out of the new computerized systems.

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