MONTREAL -- Optimal Robotics here, a major supplier of self-checkout systems, announced last week that it was laying off approximately 45 people, roughly 10% of its workforce. The move comes as self-checkout systems, which allow shoppers to scan their own purchases at the checkout and pay without human assistance, have gained much wider acceptance among food and other retailers in recent years. Nonetheless, Optimal said in its announcement that "under current business conditions Optimal ...

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