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Source please?

Checkouts at Hofer arenot fast. Rather, cashiers at Hofer are fast. The difference between the two metrics is how long you wait in line until it's your turn. Barcodes have little to do with it. Some time in the 90ies, when most places already had barcode scanners and Hofer was still waiting for the scanners to become cheaper before getting them for their stores, their cashiers typed everything in manually and were still faster than cashiers at different stores that had had scanners for a while.

It's quite interesting how they made the scanning process more efficient (why invest in better scanners that scan from multiple angles simultaneously when you don't have no problem with ugly packaging and, to a certain degree, even desire ugly packaging?), but while admiring the efficiency they can achieve, we shouldn't forget that Hofer is the sort of store that puts cutting costs first, and not the sort of store that employs enough cashiers to make it possible for them to work at a speed that is comfortable for them, convenient for the customer, and still keep the lines short. For the customer, a fast checkout is worthless if it means they're pushing stuff back into your shopping cart as quickly as possible and you have to tetris it into your shopping bag afterwards, instead of leaving the register with a bag ready to go. Having ten people in front of you at rush hour also doesn't help. Hofer really don't try to safe their customers time, they just extract maximum value from their minimum wage employees.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl