Aldi trials brand new checkout-free supermarket in the UK – customers divided

Aldi promote their Click and Collect service

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Discount supermarket Aldi has announced that it is trialling a new checkout-free technology which will allow customers to exit the store without paying at a till. It will help reduce time spent in the store but customers are divided. 

The new technology will allow customers to scan a smartphone app to enter the store and pick up their groceries before walking out with them.

Shoppers will be able to skip the till and will automatically get charged to their chosen payment method.

Receipts will also be sent digitally, via email.

Aldi is currently testing the service on colleagues with further trials planned for its customers.

Giles Hurley, Chief Executive Officer for Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “We are always looking to redefine what it means to be a discount retailer, and the technology involved in this trial will give us a wealth of learnings.

“We are really excited to be testing this concept that will enable customers to pick from our range of quality products, all available at unbeatable prices, then leave the store without paying at a till.”

The first concept store will employ approximately the same number of colleagues as an Aldi local.

Taking to social media to share their thoughts, customers were divided with the checkout-free concept.

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One Twitter user, Bridget North, said: “Not sure about that.”

Another person, Catherine Love, said: “More evidence of tech taking people’s jobs.”

“Another job destroyer,” said Maria Martin.

One Twitter user, Dan Witty, said: “The problem isn’t technology taking jobs, the problem is a system that demands work for individual survival.”

Other social media users loved the idea of a checkout-free store.

One Facebook user, Matt Cheyhun, wrote: “This will be great because the queues tend to be quite long in Aldi.”

Another person, Dave Latta, said: “I hope this is rolled out because it will save so much time. I love this idea and it means you can completely skip the till.”

Aldi follows in the footsteps of Amazon Fresh who launched its first UK supermarket earlier this year.

There are now six checkout-free Amazon Fresh stores in the UK, with its newest store in Dalston, London.

To enter the supermarket, customers use an Amazon app to enter before being able to put their phone away and shop for what they need.

Customers can pick up groceries and walk out without having to go through a checkout.

They will be billed shortly after via their chosen payment method.

In other supermarket news, Asda announced that it has opened its brand new refill store in Glasgow, Scotland.

It allows customers to take their own containers to fill up with a variety of food products including pasta, rice and cereal.

Susan Thomas, Director of Commercial Sustainability at Asda, said: “We have chosen Scotland as the location for our second refill store because it is an important market for Asda and a place where we regularly receive constructive feedback from our customers.

“This feedback is very important to us as we refine our refill offering in stores and work towards a goal of making refill and reuse part of every shopping trip.

“With COP26 coming to Glasgow, there has certainly been an increase in interest in environmental issues across the country, so to see refill land in the host city and wish such engaged customers is a really important moment for us.”

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