Aldi in the United Kingdom has announced in a press release that it will be doing a trial run of its first check-out free store in London, in which shoppers simply scan a smartphone app to enter the store, fill their bag with merchandise, and leave without having to pay at a checkout station. Technology inside the store will track what customers take. After shopping, customers will receive an email receipt and will automatically be charged using whatever payment method they have selected.
The move is similar to Amazon Go, which is a convenience store chain run by Amazon in the U.S. and U.K. that uses “Just Walk Out Technology” to offer shoppers a contactless and “true grab and go” experience. Amazon Go stores are located in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, and London.
Giles Hurley, the Chief Executive Officer for Aldi UK and Ireland, 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, which is the U.K.’s fifth largest grocery chain, announced that colleagues are testing the store now, and later it will be tested by members of the public. The first check-out free store will have about the same number of employees as an Aldi Local store. Aldi Local stores are smaller Aldi stores that have a lower inventory than a typical Aldi and don’t carry as many larger, bulky items. Aldi did not disclose a specific location for the check-out free store, other than that it will be in London.
The announcement comes after Aldi UK launched click and collect services last year, which allow customers to purchase items online and pick them up at their local store.