Aldi has opened its first checkout-free store, where shoppers will be able to pick up products and leave without queuing to pay.
The discount supermarket’s new site in Greenwich, south-east London, which opened at 7am this morning ‘for public testing’, will also allow customers to buy alcohol, using facial age estimation technology to check whether they appear to be over the age of 25.
The move follows in the footsteps of rivals Amazon and Tesco, who have both opened checkout-free stores.
Special cameras will monitor customers as the make their way around the store
Aldi had been trialling the store with employees over the past few months before launching the service on Tuesday
Tesco and Amazon have previously launched checkout-less supermarkets
Staff will use a series of hi-tech cameras to follow customers as they do their shopping, and then bill them when they leave.
Aldi had been trialling the store with employees over the past few months before launching the service on Tuesday.
The aim is to end long queues in stores and could lead to more sites opening.
Customers must register with Aldi’s Shop&Go app, which will allow them to enter the store, pick up their items, and then walk out.
Aldi said customers wishing to purchase alcohol will be able to use facial age estimation technology to authorise their purchase.
The technology, provided by Yoti, enables customers to confirm their identity via the app. Anyone who opts out will be age-verified in store.
Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive 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.
‘This store utilises the very latest in retail technology.’
Store manager Lewis Esparon said: ‘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.
According to The Grocer, the technology behind the system was developed by Aifi which is used by several ‘just walk out’ stores such as Albert Heijn in the Netherlands, Zabka in Poland and Carrefour in Dubai.
How the ‘just walk out’ system works
German supermarket Aldi has launched its first Shop&Go store in Greenwich which allows customers to buy goods without having to stop at a checkout
Customers log into their Aldi Shop&Go app and enter the store.
Specially positioned cameras follow the shopper around the shop and monitor the items they pick up.
When a customer picks up an item, the system adds it to their shopping basket.
If they return the item it is automatically removed.
When leaving the store, the customer is charged for the goods they have taken.
Their shopping receipt is automatically sent to their app or their email account.