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The Dallas Morning News reports that Albertsons plans to introduce handheld scanner technology, called Shop 'n' Scan, in all 103 of its Dallas stores by mind April.

The system allows people to use the scanners of they have a frequent shopper card, allowing them to scan items and bag them as they walk through the store. If they change their mind about an item after scanning it, it also allows them to deduct the item and price from their list. The system provides shoppers with a list of specials only available to frequent shoppers, as well as telling them when film orders and prescriptions are ready.

Liquor and tobacco purchases have to be tallied separately, as required by law.

The company said it is encouraged to move in this direction because shoppers have taken so readily to self-checkout technology. Local observers say that Albertsons also was encouraged to embrace the technology because Wal-Mart has become the market's top grocery retailer.
KC's View:
The Food Marketing Institute says that 53 percent of grocery shoppers use self-checkout at least once a month and 24 percent use it at least once a week when the stores have the service available. As much as we have reservations about self-checkout depersonalizing the shopping experience, we have to say that this technology intrigues us.

Besides, our nine-year-old daughter is gonna love it when Albertsons brings it to Shaws in New England. It'll be the thing that determines where she wants to go the supermarket.