Introduction of Bar Code Labels
Some of the older generation may remember the time when store cashiers had to enter prices and even a department number into the cash register when you made a purchase. These pre-bar code label days made checking out at the store a much longer and tedious process than we have today. For the shopper, bar code labels involved a longer wait in line as the cashier manually entered the code into the register. The process was simple if the price was in the store's system, but if it wasn't, and the package didn't have a price, it meant a price check was necessary.
The early days were difficult, and not all of the stores were receptive to the use of bar code labels. For small stores, it was a tiresome practice, and although manufacturers had begun to use bar code labels extensively, some stores still maintained their practice of entering prices by hand. It was only after scanners for bar code labels were introduced that more stores began to use them. Now they no longer had to enter the bar codes by hand; they needed only to connect the bar codes to the product and price in their system, and the information would automatically come up when a cashier scanner the bar code label for a customer.
The system is not infallible, and it depends upon someone else entering the information into the computer system. Unfortunately, the use of s has made some retailers become lazy as they fail to include prices on the shelves forcing customers to either forego buying a particular product or having to ask for a price check before committing to buy it. The practice has improved from the beginning when many stores discontinued posting prices on shelves because they relied on the information in the computer without regard to the needs of their customers.