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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:

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

GOP congressman forfeits committee seats after indictment

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) on Wednesday stepped down from his committee assignments after being indicted for lying to federal investigators amid a probe into illegal campaign donations.

What they're saying: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Fortenberry said he is "grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and colleagues as we work against the injustice confronting me."

Rahm Emanuel questioned on murder of Laquan McDonald in confirmation hearing

Rahm Emanuel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Oct. 20. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the murder of Laquan McDonald during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, saying that "there's not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years I haven't thought about this."

Catch up quick: McDonald was a Black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police during Emanuel's tenure as the city's mayor. The 2014 shooting triggered massive protests, both because of its nature and the fact that the officers' body-cam footage was concealed for years.