CHICAGO -- Target Stores has marriage on its mind.
The Minneapolis-based discount retailer is getting in on the gift registry business with a new program called Club Wedd. The use of bar-code technology adds a modern twist to the traditional bridal registry.
Couples who want to register check in at a computer kiosk, where they input relevant information using a simple touch-screen procedure. They are then given a scanner gun, and can wander through the store, zapping the bar codes on any items that take their fancy. After their tour is completed, the computer prints a list of their selections.
Gift-givers can then go into any store with the system and retrieve a printout of the list from the same kiosk, showing what's still available.
The program has been tested in Minneapolis stores since last spring and will be in all 28 Target stores in Minneapolis-St. Paul and 18 in the Chicago area by the end of this month.
According to a Target spokeswoman, one advantage Target offers over traditional department stores for gifts is its range of practical, affordable merchandise. Some of the more unusual items on the lists of the 2,000 couples who have already registered include toothpaste, soap and cheese slicers.
"It's more like reality registering," she said. "And because it's easy and fun, people put more on the list."
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