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JCPenney may eliminate check-out clerks

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CINCINNATI - More change appears to be on the way for struggling retailer JCPenney.

Five months after adopting an "every day low price strategy" that has had mixed success, the chain is planning even more changes.

Bye bye to checkout counter

"Fortune" magazine says it will soon make some big changes that will affect customers and its clerks. The store is planning to phase out its check-out counters. What this means for its thousands of clerks is unclear.

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.

JCPenney 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.

Customers give mixed reviews

Earlier this summer, 9 News spoke with a dozen shoppers outside the Liberty Township JCPenney store about the everyday low price policy.

While some said they had noticed price cuts on blouses and other clothing items, most said without a big sale, there was very little to excite them and lure them into the store. They told us they miss regular big sales./

Since then, JCPenney has said it will be bringing back some sale events.

As always, don't waste your money.

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