Japanese retailers facing staff shortages are turning to self-checkout cash registers.A leading DVD rental chain introduced a self-checkout system at some of its outlets 2 years ago. It plans to have the system installed at nearly half its stores by March.Customers can settle their bills by placing products under a bar code reader. They say they find the automatic service quick and convenient.A clerk says, "We can spend more time improving our store since we introduced the new registers. We hope they will lead to better customer service."A popular restaurant chain is also testing the system at 3 outlets in Tokyo.A spokesperson says customers previously had to wait in line to pay during the busiest hours. He says the new register frees up staff to serve customers and clear tables.
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