FACT CHECK: Is Aldi Getting Rid of Scanners, Cashiers, and Checkout Lines?

Aldi Go by Grabango

Credit: Grabango

A few days ago, a major food publication put out a story with the following headline: “Aldi is Getting Rid of Scanners, Cashiers, and Checkout Lines with the Help of AI.” This story has since made the rounds on social media as well as on Chrome mobile’s news feed.

We rate this headline as misleading. In addition, the story includes at least one significant inaccuracy in the body of the story.

The headline stems from the news last week that Aldi US is experimenting with checkout-free technology in one store in the Chicago area. The headline seems to imply that all Aldi US stores are making this move. That is not the case: this is a pilot project at just one store. While it is entirely possible that Aldi could get rid of cashiers and checkout lanes in the future, that is not what is happening right now.

In addition, the story claims that “there are no checkout lines, cashiers, or scanners” at the pilot store. This is not true: according to the press release issued regarding the development, the pilot store will still operate a traditional checkout lane staffed by a cashier with a scanner for shoppers who prefer that method.

The story does state at the end that Aldi has not confirmed whether the checkout-free experience will expand beyond the one store it currently operates in, but that is not the message the headline communicates.


On April 16th, 2024, tech company Grabango announced it is deploying its checkout-free technology at a single Aldi store in the Chicago, Illinois, area. This store is located at 2275 West Galena Blvd. in Aurora, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago.

The technology is called Aldigo. The system uses cameras placed above the shopping area to monitor the location of all products, and the cameras use machine learning — a key component of artificial intelligence — to process the movement of products. When you’re done shopping, you go to the Grabandgo pay station at the front of the store and pay with the Grabango app (available on Google Play and the Apple App Store) or with a debit or credit card.

So, you don’t have to go through a checkout lane and have your groceries individually scanned. The cameras have already detected what you put in your cart, so all you have to do is pay for your groceries.

Grabandgo stated in its press release about the Chicago-area Aldi store: “Alternatively, shoppers still have the option to check out with a traditional cashier.” 

Closing Thoughts:

When we searched for the story on Google, we discovered that the publication initially used this headline:

It reads: “Aldi is Overhauling Its Checkout Process with the Help of AI.” Apparently, the outlet later changed the title to something more likely to get clicks. While it has apparently succeeded in getting attention, the new title has also created confusion among Aldi shoppers.

Just to repeat: there are no Aldi stores to date in the United States that have gotten rid of their traditional scanners, cashiers, and checkout lines. One Aldi location in the Chicago area is piloting a checkout-free option but continues to offer a traditional checkout lane with a cashier, so even in that store shoppers have a choice.

While we can debate whether checkout-free will eventually be the future of grocery shopping, Aldi US does not appear to be currently changing all of its stores to checkout-free or getting rid of all scanners, cashiers, and checkout lines. In fact, there is no indication as to if or when Aldi might expand this technology to other locations.

For the time being, you’ll still find regular scanners, cashiers, and checkout lanes at all Aldi US stores.

About Rachael

Rachael is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more houseplants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at rachaelsjohnston.com.


  1. I love the convenience of self-checkout, however, I don’t like Aldi’s SCO (and quite a few other stores), because I can’t use cash. When I only have a few items (less than $15), I prefer to pay cash. So, I have to wait in line for the one cashier open, who’s ringing up a customer with an overflowing cart of groceries! I get that we’re going to a cashless society but, some of us still carry cash and like to use it for small purchases.

  2. Elaine, you may be of a minority here and I feel for you, yet the current automated system works pretty well.

    Perhaps ALDI could take your cash and drop the change back to you as an ALDI debit card, all automated of course. Somehow I don’t believe this would happen though, they won’t want to start another method which would affect their streamlining.

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