Scanning For Groceries - InformationWeek

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Scanning For Groceries

Albertsons introduces handheld scanners to let Texas shoppers pay for items more quickly

The future of grocery shopping can be found in Albertsons Inc. stores in the Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, area, where shoppers can scan items with handheld devices to record their purchases, tally up costs, receive special offers, as well as checkout and pay.

The $36 billion-a-year food and drug retailer has been aggressive in using high tech to improve customer service.The Shop 'n Scan technology, unveiled last week, scans bar codes on individual items. It was developed by Albertsons through a partnership with Symbol Technologies Inc. and NCR Corp. The handheld device connects to an in-store wireless network developed in conjunction with Cisco Systems.

To obtain a scanner, a customer swipes his or her Preferred Savings card at a kiosk, which unlocks the handheld device. During checkout, the customer can use a traditional or self-checkout lane, or what's called an Express Pay Station, which automatically downloads the contents on the scanner into the register.

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