Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Electronic Scanners Helping Stores Improve Production, Sophistication

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Electronic Scanners Helping Stores Improve Production, Sophistication

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Does the beeping of the check-out scanner at your grocery store bug you a little? Does it get on your nerves when the cashier has to pass the peanut butter jar over the laser beam repeatedly before it registers the code?

Or maybe you have stronger feelings: You think they're impersonal; you mistrust them.

But those scanners benefit you in ways that are and aren't readily apparent.

Besides generally getting you out of the store faster, they enable stores to better tailor themselves to your wants and needs. They also allow stores to be more productive, which could translate into cheaper prices for you.

That's because stores now are using with much more sophistication the huge amount of information that is collected by the computers linked to these scanners.

``Phase one was really the implemenation of computer hardware and software into the supermarket and retailing industries,'' said John Phipps, national director for food industry consulting for the accounting firm Touche Ross & Co., "where the systems for the most part generated what I would call data.

``Phase two is using the raw data to develop information that is much more useful.''

The use of scanners certainly is proliferating.

Nearly 12,000 grocery stores in the United States were equipped with scanners at the end of 1985, 18 percent more than the previous year, according to Nielsen Marketing Research.

Grocery stores with Universal Product Code scanners accounted for 45 percent of all grocery store dollar sales last year and this should increase to 58 percent, or more than 16,000 stores, in 1988, Nielsen said.

Seven georgraphic markets have more than two-thirds of all food store sales generated in scanner-equipped supermarkets - Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Miami, San Diego and St. Louis, it said. …

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