JC Penney to get rid of checkout counters and clerks

CLEVELAND - Struggling retailer JC Penney is making some big changes that will affect customers and its clerks. The store is getting rid of its check-out counters.

CEO Ron Johnson said it will remove check-out counters in stores and replace them with a system that won't require clerks. It's all part of an effort to return the department store chain to profitability.

Shoppers will be able to use self check-out machines, similar to those found in grocery stores.

JC Penney is also planning to replace traditional bar codes on price tags with high-tech radio frequency identification, or "R-F-I-D" chips to make purchases faster.

Johnson told " Fortune " magazine he hopes to phase out check-out counters by 2014.

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