Tesco andAmazon may have been the first ones to open checkout-free stores in the UK, but it’s nowhere near as exciting as Aldi’s launch. Given that the supermarket is the cheapest in the country, a lot more people are hyped up about the possibility of having a shopping experience that is convenient, fast, COVID-friendly, and within their budget.
Shopping in 2022
On Tuesday (18 January), the company opened the doors of their first ever Aldi Shop & Go for public testing. The store has been open since 7 AM and is located on Greenwich High Street, in south-east London. If all goes well, this will be the first of many checkout-free stores to come. Lewis Esparon, the store’s manager, said in a press release:
I cannot wait to show customers our new Aldi Shop&Go store. 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
Every year, technology allows us to do things that we could have never imagined possible. The ability to go to a store, pick up our groceries, and walk out without going through a cashier or checkout machine still sounds bizarre when you say it out loud—but that’s the future of shopping and that’s exactly why Aldi is getting ahead in the game.
To take advantage of the new experience, all Aldi customers need to do is download the Aldi Shop & Go app on their phones. Using the app, they will be able to enter the store, collect all of their items, and leave when they're done. They will be charged for their haul as soon as they exit the store ‘via their selected payment method.’ Aldi added:
The system, provided by leading technology provider AiFi, uses specially positioned cameras to detect which products customers have picked up, before charging them to their Aldi Shop&Go account when they leave the store.
But wait, it gets even better! Facial recognition will be used to authorise purchases of alcohol and other age-restricted products. Customers will need to validate their identity on the app while buying these products. However, those who do not wish to use the system can have their age verified by staff in the store.