Aldi shoppers threaten boycott over cashierless store plans


Aldi’s announcement that it will soon be launching its first ever autonomous, cashierless store has caused a backlash from many shoppers on social media.

Earlier this week Aldi revealed said it had been testing its first Amazon Fresh-style ‘just walk out’ store with its staff, enabling shoppers to select items freely and be charged automatically on the way out.

While Aldi is the third major UK supermarket to announce plans to rollout cashierless technology this year, following Tesco and Morrisons, many of its shoppers expressed their anger at the concept.

Many were concerned that the new system would mean replacing jobs and saw it as a sign of growing automation in the sector, despite Aldi announcing that the store would have as many staff as a standard store of its size.

READ MORE: Aldi trials its first checkout free store

One shopper said that while the technology “may seem innocent”, it will “cause job losses”, the Daily Star reported.

Another argued that it could isolate older shoppers who “look forward to shopping because that’s the only place they get a semblance of human interaction”.

Others were simply against self-service technology altogether, stating that if they “can’t pay with a cashier I won’t use any shop”.

The backlash against the technology is similar to that experienced by Sainsbury’s in 2018 at its experimental cashierless store in London.

Sainsbury’s was forced to close its store after a three-month period as shoppers were instead queueing at the help desk so they could pay in person, stating that shoppers “weren’t yet ready” for fully cashierless stores.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of the technology rapidly since then, and this year alone Amazon has launched six automated Fresh stores across many of London’s busiest shopping districts.

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