Aldi US is Testing Self-Checkout

Aldi checkouts are pretty legendary. They’re fast … so fast, in fact, that some people hate how fast they are. This isn’t just anecdote, either: Aldi consistently ranks high for its checkout speed. Aldi workers are trained for speed, and they’re helped by the fact that Aldi usually puts bar codes on several sides of a package to make it easier to scan.

To date, Aldi has used an entirely employee-driven checkout process. This is different from many grocers and retailers that have, in recent years, rolled out self-checkout. Self-checkout is a polarizing subject: some shoppers like them, especially for small purchases, while others complain that they don’t work as well or are being used to phase out paid workers.

I’ve long wondered if Aldi would ever experiment with self-checkout. After all, Aldi has been willing to experiment in other areas, including grocery delivery and curbside pickup.

I don’t have to wonder any longer.

The Aldi self-checkout experiment has officially come to America.

An Aldi self-checkout in Stow, Ohio. (Credit: Michelle R. Wiesen)

This picture comes courtesy of a shopper in northeast Ohio, just minutes from Akron and less than an hour from Cleveland. It was taken on May 19, 2021, which was, according to the shopper, the first day Aldi started using the checkout stations. The shopper told us that there were a few stations running and she was excited to see them.

I think it could be better served and faster for very busy times,” she said, “especially when you have lines down the aisle, and only have a couple items.”

Aldi US has been pretty quiet about this rollout. I haven’t seen any public announcements by the company anywhere, which leads me to think this is something the grocer isn’t going to make a lot of fanfare about. It is also likely a pilot project at this point, to see how well they work. Aldi is a company focused on efficiency, so the grocer will likely look to see if self-checkout helps keep things moving in the exits. If it does, expect to see more of them in stores, although it could take a long time to see them throughout the United States.

This may be part of a larger international strategy by the grocer. Aldi UK has placed self-checkout in a handful of its stores over the last two years, and Aldi Australia has just launched its own self-checkout trials in the last few weeks.

Time will tell what the future holds for self-checkout lanes at Aldi. We’ll be watching with interest.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at


  1. I’m generally impressed by how competent and remarkably pleasant Aldi cashiers are. Unless Aldi were to have a significant bank of automatic checkouts, I would dread the plodding and fumbling that most people display when scanning their own groceries. I hope this idea doesn’t catch on.

  2. If a self checkout is put into the stores, there should be a strict amount of items that can be checked out! 10 items or less would be ideal! If I have 3 or 4 items, I would hate to have to wait for someone with a full cart, they should be required to go the regular checkout with the “fast cashiers”!

    • Agree! I always let someone go ahead of me if they have 3 or 4 items. If I have a cart full, I would prefer to use the super-speedy cashier checkout. Just a quick run for a few items, I would not mind using the self-checkout.

  3. I place the heavier items on the counter first, leaving bread, produce, chips last. Works for me. I haven’t had any problems.

  4. I wonder how many cashier’s this will put out of work. I don’t like the self check outs…they take jobs away and they aren’t friendly and I’ve never seen one smile back.

  5. Obvious that Aldi checkers are trained as if they are in a race. I carefully pick my bananas and other produce only to have it thrown in the cart at the other end and coming home bruised. I once had a checker put an apple pie in the cart SIDEWAYS. Can you imagine? PIE!
    I usually put my stuff on the counter and run to the other end to catch everything before it is thrown into the cart. Hate that. At Aldi, I think self checking is a good thing because of the lack of care of the purchased items.

  6. Really appreciate the checkout process at Aldi’s. Am not a fan of the self checkout, as I’m not gifted in finding the code, getting it scanned, and into the right bag, and dislike getting reprimanded by a machine :-} !

  7. 'Ron' Hugh Thorne

    Not a fan. I will not shop a store that is primarily self-checkout.

  8. Oh i hope it doesnt catch on. The whole reason they stood out initially was by being DIFFERENT than other stores-not the same. No one mentioned here that having me have to check out and bag my own groceries is making me ‘work’ for them for free(while costing someone else a job)..not to mention elderly and sick people who really have a time being forced to do this to buy their food is wrong. It seems they are forgetting the idea of offering service to if doing something for us doesnt enter the equation–just how do they “make a buck”. Perhaps you can “make a buck and more” if you remember to have customer service.

  9. Will not use self checkout!

  10. I agree that using a self-checkout may be good for a few items. Having someone lose their job because of a self-checkout station is absolute lunacy.

    • If someone is no longer a checker due to a machine providing self-checkout, they are still capable of other jobs that have skills a computer or machine cannot do. Businesses can assign them to different or more skilled roles that allow the business to potentially run more efficiently or profitably, perhaps even allowing them to pay the employee more.

      “Workers of the future will spend more time on activities that machines are less capable of, such as managing people, applying expertise, and communicating with others. They will spend less time on predictable physical activities and on collecting and processing data, where machines already exceed human performance. The skills and capabilities required will also shift, requiring more social and emotional skills and more advanced cognitive capabilities, such as logical reasoning and creativity.”

  11. It’s expanding. And we always get behind someone who is the slowest at checking out. Looks like we’ll shop elsewhere.

  12. First time running into self checkout at Aldis and it sucks. If I wanted to go to Walmart literally next door I would. I’ve told people how great Aldi is but no more.
    A full cart of groceries does not work at a self check out. Now the staff that used to check you out in no time spends their time helping the self check out and both self and staffed checkout take twice as long. Sorry Aldi you are going to lose a customer.

  13. I agree. Self checkouts should Only be for people that have 10 items or less.
    NOT for people with 1 or 2 full carts! Let them go to the oh so fast cashiers that Aldi is supposedly famous and proud of.

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