A bill proposed by Massachusetts legislators would allow supermarkets to remove individual prices on each item, making customers rely instead on electronic scanners located throughout the store.

Some people don't like the idea, however. The Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group says it will inconvenience shoppers by forcing them to walk to scanning stations. Critics also say it will make it harder to catch overcharges at the register.

But Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts says this move will ultimately benefit customers as it will lower prices and shorten lines without having to devote resources for item-by-item pricing. However, since most states don't follow this item-by-item pricing, the impact may be negligible.

I'm personally a big fan of the handheld electronic scanners available at my Stop and Shop back home in Connecticut, which lets you zap items as you shop through the aisles, and helpfully figures in any discounts available—not to mention informs you of items that are on sale as you walk around. When you finish, head to a register, scan the UPC code with your scanner, and pay up. It could be a little dangerous if you're guilty of being an impulse shopper, but the convenience can't be beat. [via Consumerist]


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