ALDI and Other Grocery Stores Are Testing This Convenient New Service
Amazon brick-and-mortar grocery stores leverage the brand's technologies like Dash Carts to make grocery shopping a breeze. And it's not done innovating—the retail giant recently partnered with Starbucks to blend the convenience of its cashierless shopping experience with the comfort of coffee.
Amazon is generating headlines, but it's not the retailer dreaming up new ways to for grocery customers to shop smarter. ALDI just became the latest chain to launch its first cashierless store—here's a look at this convenient new service.
Related: 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year
ALDI just opened its first cashierless store.
ALDI is associated with low prices, and now it may be associated with speedy checkout times, too. The retailer just opened its first chashierless grocery store for public testing in London.
Cameras in specially placed positions across the ALDI Shop & Go store are able to detect what items customers add to their carts. After shoppers walk out of the store on Greenwich High Street, their payment is processed using the app by the same name.
"Customers wishing to purchase alcohol, or other Challenge 25 products, will be able to use facial age estimation technology to authorize their purchase," the company says. "This technology, provided by Yoti, enables customers to confirm their age within seconds via the Aldi Shop & Go app. Those who opt to not use the system will instead be age verified by a store colleague."
This moment has been a few years in the making.
In 2020, Aldi Süd, the U.K. subsidiary of the German grocery store brand, placed "an international call out to tech startups" specializing in artificial intelligence, according to Charged Retail.
Whether or not the company tests out the same technology across the pond remains to be seen. Eat This, Not That! has reached out for more information.
Other supermarkets in the U.S. are developing cashierless tech.
Wakefern Food Corp. includes more than 360 supermarkets under banners such as ShopRite, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market. The retailer-owned cooperative is also testing cashierless technology, it recently announced.
Trigo, an Israel-based computer company, is supplying the technology to the group. Shoppers will purportedly be able to pick up the items they want and leave without going through a checkout lane.
Foxtrot is a modern convenience store that operates 16 stores in Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. It recently unveiled plans for a 25-store expansion across new cities like Austin and Boston. The chain also has plans to test its own cashierless technology, according to Grocery Dive. Instead of relying on an outside company, Foxtrot is expanding its in-house engineering team.
Is more high tech coming to grocery stores this year?
How you check out at the grocery store is changing, thanks to new technology. It's clear that we've come a long way from standing in line and loading items on a conveyor belt. However, other changes coming to supermarkets this year will likely feel more familiar.
Kroger and Albertsons are adding smart grocery carts to some stores in a partnership with a tech startup called Vevve. Amazon has Dash Carts, which it has used in its Amazon Fresh stores since 2020. Other grocery companies are taking note, and they're rolling out their own versions of this new technology.
Related: Here are 4 things you'll see in every grocery store this year, according to experts.