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."

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4 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing research shows disinfectants kill coronavirus on airplanes

Electrostatic spraying of disinfectant. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.