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Self-Checkout in Grocery Stores

Self-checkout in grocery stores describes a process whereby a retail food customer uses a self-checkout terminal to scan and purchase food using his or her own labor, with or without the supervision of a grocery store employee within close physical proximity. Self-checkout in grocery stores is known also as self-service checkout or semi-attended customer activated terminal. Self-checkout terminals were invented by Howard Schneider in 1992 under two U.S. patents: Patent 5083638, Automated Point of Sale Machine, and Patent 5168961, Supermarket With Self-Service Checkout. According to Retail Banking Research, Ltd., in 2008, there were an estimated 92,600 self-checkout terminals in operation worldwide, allowing consumers to perform self-checkout, and that number was estimated to reach 430,000 worldwide by the end of 2014.

Historical Context

Beginning in the 1960s and ...

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