Supermarket giant Aldi opens its first checkout-free store
Aldi – Britain’s fifth biggest grocery retailer by market share – opens its first checkout-free store in Greenwich, South East London.
Aldi opens new checkout-free store in London Photo Credit: Aldi
Aldi has opened its first checkout-free supermarket in a bid to eliminate queuing and make shopping quicker and easier. The supermarket has launched a new app – the Shop & Go app – to facilitate this in the company’s store in Greenwich, South East London.
Customers must register on the app which will process their items as they shop and bill them before they leave. Shoppers will also be able to buy alcohol using facial age estimation technology to check whether they appear to be over the age of 25. Customers must confirm their identity via the app, while those opting out will be age-verified in the store.
Aldi staff will still be in the supermarket, using high-tech cameras to track customers as they use the app to enter the store, pick up the items they need and walk out. A combination of these cameras, as well as weight sensors, establish what customers have picked up and they are then charged for products directly through the supermarket’s app when they leave.
Aldi’s aim is to eliminate long queues in its shops and follows the Co-op, Tesco and Sainsburys – which have opened checkout-free sites in England – and Amazon, who has checkout-free stores both in the UK and in many parts of the world.
The supermarket has been trialling the app in store with employees over the past few months. “Today is the culmination of months of work, not least from the team here in Greenwich, and I’m looking forward to seeing how customers react to our trial”, said Giles Hurley, the company’s UK and Ireland chief executive.
After months of testing, the concept store in Greenwich opened at 7am this morning. “We have been working towards this day for several months now so it will be great to see how our customers react to the new technology”, said Lewis Esparon, store manager of the branch.
The app is currently only available to be used in the supermarket’s Greenwich branch.