Switzerland: Word of Honor

The U.S. may have pioneered the self-service supermarket, but the Swiss are leading the way toward putting it on the honor system. Last week the big Migros Federation (1965 gross: $450 million) announced that after a successful six-month trial in a suburban Zurich store, it was extending an honor-system checkout to other stores.

Under the honor system, shoppers select their groceries, tot up their tab on an adding machine, then pay a cashier. The sum is never questioned. "From time to time," says Migros Sales Chief Rolf Frieden, "we have customers who come back saying they underpaid us, but it happens...