JC Penney to phase out check-out counter - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

JC Penney to phase out check-out counter

Posted: Updated:

Struggling retailer JC Penney has an idea to boost business: get rid of check-out counters. CEO Ron Johnson says the department store chain is replacing all its technology infrastructure with a new system that won't require clerks.  Instead, shoppers will be able to use self-checkout machines, similar to those found in many grocery stores. 

It's part of an effort to return the company to profitability. JC Penney is also planning to replace traditional bar codes on price tags with high-tech radio frequency identification, or "RFID," chips to make purchases faster. 

Johnson told "Fortune" he hopes to phase out checkout counters by 2014.