Chapter 2: The evolution of technology in the retail sector
Technological innovations have transformed the retail sector over the past several decades, allowing for dramatic increases in product variety, firm size, labor productivity, and concentration ratios. This chapter surveys the adoption and impact of technological innovations by retailers, starting with the mechanical cash register; proceeding through barcode scanning; private computer networks, which enabled electronic payments and electronic data interchange (EDI); radio frequency identification (RFID); and the current use of public networks – the Internet – to facilitate both shopping and information exchange.
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