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Last year on a camping trip Lisa Warden and her daughter Jessica stopped for groceries in an extremely small town While shopping Jessica kept hearing an unfamiliar noise and asked what it was but Lisa was not sure what she was talking about Because Lisa remembers the cash register age she did not realize Jessica had never heard one actually working in a store When they were in the check out line Jessica pointed at the old cash register and told her mom that is the noise she has been hearing Lisa laughed and tried to explain that at one time all stores had cash registers like this one Jessica was born in the computer age and could not comprehend the thought of cashiers and baggers doing so much work Before bar codes cashiers had to look at each price tag and manually key enter the dollar amount This made the consumer have to wait in long check out lines which did not make for a pleasant experience Because the cashier was busy entering each items price he or she did not have time to bag the merchandise The retailer had to hire another person to put the products into bags and this increased the prices Ed Leibowitz reported that supermarkets net margins were one percent in the more profitable times but down six percent by 1970 130 Their inventory control did not help their net margins because of the considerable time it took and their employee wages they paid Consumers retailers and producers have benefited with the invention of the bar code by saving time and money The bar code is a series of thirteen numbers written in a coded form of black and white lines that a scanner can read The definition according to The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia is The printed code used for recognition by a bar code reader scanner Traditional one-dimensional bar codes use the bars width as the code
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