In the laboratory that is the modern supermarket, the development of a mobile in-store shopping device has been a long, hard slog, but it is showing signs of progress. Probably at the forefront of this effort is Stop & Shop, Quincy, Mass., a division of Ahold that operates 389 stores. The chain began testing the Shopping Buddy, a time- and money-saving touchscreen computer tablet with a small detachable scanner, in 2004, and offered it in as many as two dozen stores last year. ...

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