Aldi opens checkout-free supermarket where people just walk out with their food

The trial store, in a secret London location, works by using an Aldi smartphone app to charge you for the goods you have on you when you leave the supermarket – and it could be rolled out more widely

The technology is being tested out on Aldi staff – but will involve customers if it’s a success

Aldi is trialling a supermarket with no checkouts at all – customers just pick up their shopping and are charged as they walk out.

The way it works is that customers install an app on their phone. When they go to the Aldi store they register on the app.

Then they go shopping as normal and walk out when they are finished. When they leave the shop they are charged automatically and get a receipt emailed to them.

Aldi will not reveal where the trial store is, other than it is based in London. Currently the system is only being used by the supermarket’s employees, not customers.

But if the system works it will be rolled out to the public, the supermarket said.

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Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive Giles Hurley 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 having to pay at a till.”

Aldi is currently the second-cheapest supermarket in the UK, just losing out to Lidl


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An Aldi statement said the store would still employ the same number of staff as one of its similarly-sized supermarkets.

Aldi is not the first retailer to trial ‘no-checkout’ payments.

In March online behemoth Amazon opened its first walk-in store in the UK, selling items such as groceries and technology, without any checkouts.

The multi-billion-pound retail empire – owned by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos – is trialling its Amazon Go concept on Britain’s high streets.

The first shop was in in Ealing in West London.

And as with its US stores, there will be no physical checkouts, with all shopping baskets scanned – and customers charged – when they leave the store via the Amazon Go app.

The concept first launched in the US in 2018 and it was first reported last year that the shopping giant was eyeing as many as 30 locations in the UK for bricks and mortar stores.

The shops use “Just Walk Out” technology which means customers can avoid queueing.

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Shoppers must scan their unique Amazon bar code on their phone to enter the store, allowing sensor technology and cameras to monitor the products they walk out with.

The contactless service will work using the same type of technology found in self-driving cars which can detect when products are taken or returned to the shelves, while monitoring your virtual cart.

Earlier this month Aldi confirmed that more than 50 of its SpecialBuy products had been delayed, including a number of homeware products due to go on sale.

The retailer was dealing with an ongoing issue with stock but says arrival dates are “subject to change”.

The discount supermarket says around 78 of its products might be late hitting its stores this month.

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