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5. How retailers are prepped for Black Friday

Photo illustration of a deflated football
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Shoppers this holiday season might be pleasantly surprised that big box retailers are working to ease the long waits in the checkout line.

Why it matters: "Barbara Kahn, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, says shoppers know the technology is out there for faster shopping. 'That makes them even more impatient,'" she tells the AP.

  • "Walmart says workers will stand in the busiest sections of stores, ready to swipe customer credit cards when they are ready to pay."
  • "J.C. Penney, which has been offering mobile checkout for years, says it sent an additional 6,000 mobile devices to stores this year..."
  • "Macy's... says customers need to use its mobile app to scan price tags and pay. After that, they have to go to a mobile checkout express line and show the app to a worker, who then removes security tags from clothing."

Between the lines: "Retailers are trying to catch up to technology giants. Apple, for example, has let those buying iPhones, laptops and other gadgets in its stores to pay on mobile devices issued to workers. And Amazon has been rolling out cashier-less convenience stores in San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle."Go deeper:

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