If you have shopped at an Apple store recently you have had a unique (but not for long) check-out experienced—find any store associate and they swipe your credit card with a card reader attached to their iPhone. "Need a receipt? We'll email it to you." I'm pretty sure that this is the best model for the specialty retail store of the future. Except that the future is now with Apple, Intuit and Macally (and probably others) offering credit card swipers for smart phones in the $100-$150 range.
What a great way for a specialty retailer to differentiate (at least for now, until everyone does it). No cash registers, no check-out lines, just one more "concierge type service" from stores that should always provide service that goes above and beyond mass retailers in every way.
How long until there are no more cash registers?