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SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES AND ALBERT HEIJN ANNOUNCE SHOPPERS' PORTABLE SELF-SCANNING SYSTEM; EUROPE'S LARGEST GROCERY CHAIN PILOTS SYSTEM

 BOHEMIA, N.Y., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A self-scanning system was announced today that dramatically accelerates the store checkout process. The system allows shoppers to record and tabulate product purchases themselves as they take items from the shelves.
 Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL), the world leader in bar code- driven data transaction systems, Albert Heijn of The Netherlands, Europe's largest grocery market chain, and TNO Product Centre, a leading Dutch engineering design firm, co-developed the system designed to improve the customer shopping experience.
 The self-scanner system is operational at the Albert Heijn supermarket in Geldermalsen, The Netherlands. The pilot began in April.
 The system at the 930-square-meter (10,000-square-foot) store includes 96 hand-held bar code scanners with a supporting scanner dispenser system developed by Symbol Technologies, Zaandam-based Albert Hiejn and TNO Product Centre, based in Delft, The Netherlands.
 The intelligent dispenser system is linked online to the in-store computer, which processes all data concerning products, price files and information about the customer-users of the devices.
 Upon entering the store, a shopper who has signed up to participate in the self-scanning program unlocks a scanner from the dispenser system with a magnetic stripe identification card. The shopper selects merchandise, scans each item's bar code and places the groceries into a cart.
 If a shopper decides against purchasing an item, it may be deselected by scanning the item's bar code and pressing the scanner's "minus" button to subtract its price from the shopping total.
 When a shopper completes the selections, the scanner is returned to the dispenser and the transaction is completed. The shopper than takes the receipt and groceries to an express checkout cash register to pay for the goods.
 "The device is the culmination of two years of work among Albert Heijn, a pioneer in food retail and one of the most respected names in the grocery business, the TNO Product Centre, which has worked with us previously on product design, and Symbol, which invented hand-held laser bar code scanning and has provided scanners to retailers for nearly a decade," said Dr. Jerome Swartz, chairman and chief executive officer, Symbol Technologies.
 "The Albert Heijn self-scanning system is just one example of application-specific technology and partnerships creating unique concept solutions for our worldwide customers," said Tomo Razmilovic, senior vice president, worldwide sales and services, Symbol Technologies.
 "According to research studies, shoppers have indicated the worst part of the shopping experience to be waiting at the front-end to check out their purchases," said Ton Andreae, president and chief executive officer of Albert Heijn, the largest subsidiary of Royal Ahold. "Self- scanning reduces shopper front-end congestion by eliminating front-end item scanning. Shoppers also have a better idea of how much they are in the process of spending."
 "The project was a major challenge to us: integrating our expertise in the design, ergonomics, hardware and software development with the contributions of our partners. An advanced piece of information technology now presents itself with an accessible and user-friendly interface to the shopper," said Nico Scheepmaker, director, TNO Product Centre.
 Among Ahold's U.S. holdings are Bi-Lo, Mauldin, S.C.; Giant Food Stores, Carlisle, Pa.; Tops Markets, Buffalo, N.Y.; FNS-East, Windsor Locks, Conn.; and FNS-Ohio, Maple Heights, Ohio.
 Customer information is available from Symbol Technologies at 1-800-SCAN-234.
 Symbol Technologies is the world leader in bar-code based data transaction systems with more than two million scanners and terminals installed. The company designs, manufactures and markets bar code reading equipment, portable data terminals and radio frequency data communications products which are used as strategic building blocks in technology systems for retailing, package and parcel delivery, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, health care and other industries.
 -0- 10/8/93
 /CONTACT: Doug Picker or Nancy Tully of Symbol Technologies, Inc., 516-244-4699; or Katie Brazel or Andy Pool of Brodeur & Partners, 617-894-0003, for Symbol Technologies/
 (SBL)


CO: Symbol Technologies, Inc.; Albert Heijn ST: New York IN: CPR SU: PDT

JL-DD -- NE001 -- 0529 10/11/93 07:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993
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