Aldi has announced plans to open its first checkout free store to the public in The Netherlands early next year as it ramps up its focus on automated shopping.
Aldi Nord, the half of the wider Aldi group which trades across large portions of Europe, plans to launch the store in Utrecht for a 12-month trial.
It has enlisted the help of Israeli tech firm Trigo to fitout its store with the sensors, cameras and AI-systems required to enable autonomous shopping, the same company that Tesco is using for its own upcoming checkout-free offering.
It comes just weeks after Aldi Sud, the half of the company which trades in the UK, announced that it was also launching its own cashierless offering in Greenwich, London, in the near future.
Aldi’s store in Utrecht will let customers sign into the store by scanning a QR code, then track which items they pick from the shelves before charging them automatically when they leave the store.
“We are very proud to work with Aldi because the brand stands for innovation in food retailing,” Trigo’s co-founder Michael Gabay said.
“Thanks to the technology used in the store, customers can shop conveniently while Aldi gets a better overview when it comes to merchandise availability.
“With frictionless technology, the general public will be able to experience ease of shopping, while retailers will benefit from better inventory control, shrinkage reduction, as well as a positive customer service focus.”
Aldi Nord said the store will initially have more staff than its standard stores, but concerns have been raised in the UK that the new autonomous stores could mean less employees in the future.
The German discounter is the latest in a string of supermarkets who have announced plans to launch checkout-free stores as newcomer to the space Amazon continues to roll out its “Just Walk Out” Fresh stores across London at pace.