Despite industry buzz about radio-frequency identification tags that scan items as shoppers put them into a cart, most stores still have old-fashioned checkout lanes. However, some have created a single line that leads to multiple registers, and more stores are adopting technology allowing smartphones to scan groceries. "Most consumers would rather have a competent cashier and bagger than any new technology," said food analyst Phil Lempert. "But what people do trust and value is their smartphone, and that's an easy next step for the industry."

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