It's rare that a seminal event in an industry can be traced to a single moment in time, but that is the case for supermarkets. It was on June 26, 1974, at 8:01 a.m. in a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, that the first product -- a 10-pack package of Wrigley's chewing gum -- was scanned at a supermarket checkout lane. The cashier, instead of keying the transaction into her register in the accustomed way, moved the Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code on the package across a window on a ...

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