JCPenney to cut out staff

STRUGGLING US retailer JCPenney is phasing out check-out counters in a bid to cut staff and boost profits.

Chief executive Ron Johnson said the store aims to remove the counters by 2014, replacing them with self check-out machines.

The beleaguered shop is also planning to replace traditional bar codes on price tags with high-tech radio frequency identification – or RFID – chips.

The chain said recently it will end month-long sales of certain items and cut some everyday prices to simplify pricing.