Aldi opens its first checkout-free store in London

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AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Aldi Shop&Go entrance

A new till-less Aldi shop opened up to the public for trial in Greenwich, south east London, yesterday (18.01.22).

To buy anything in the shop, customers must download the Aldi Shop&Go app, which allows them to enter the store and pick up the items they wish to buy without having to scan anything at a checkout.

The store is powered by AiFi technology, which allows cameras to note what products have been selected by customers. Once they’ve left the store, shoppers are then charged for what they’ve purchased through their account on the app.

If customers are looking to purchase alcohol, they can do so by using facial age estimation technology, provided by the software company Yoti. Those who would rather not use this system they can have their age checked by in-store staff.

The Aldi Shop&Go store is situated on Greenwich High Street and had been tested out over the past couple of months by staff prior to the opening.

CEO of Aldi UK and Ireland, Giles Hurley, said: “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.”

Store manager at the new Aldi Shop&Go, Lewis Esparon said: “For us, steps like this are always about improving the customer experience and the whole team are looking forward to being on-hand and ready to help to ensure that experience is as smooth as ever.”

Aldi is one of many leading supermarkets to launch a checkout-free shop in the capital. Following on from the success of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in some of its Amazon Fresh stores which were launched in London earlier last year, retail giants including Tesco and Sainsbury’s also opened their own till-free stores using similar technology. Morrisons is also due to follow suit in the near future.

The founder of NBK Retail, Natalie Berg told the BBC: “Retailers are in a race to offer the most frictionless in-store experience – in retail ‘no touch’ has become the new normal.”

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