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Aldi opens in Utrecht without cash register or self-scan: ‘grocery scanning is now a thing of the past’

Aldi Netherlands will soon open its pilot branch, announced last fall, in Utrecht, where customers can shop without checking out or wiping devices. Retailers like Tesco and Rewe are also trying out payment-free stores, following Amazon’s leading example.

While Molenbeek was in the news last week with a Tax on self-scanning cash registers From Delhaize, Aldi is already one more stage. The test shop in Utrecht, which will open on Wednesday, is completely free of checkout and therefore no longer has self-checkouts.

The supermarket only uses smart cameras in the ceiling and sensors in the shelves to detect customer purchases. Thanks to the self-learning IT system, based on artificial intelligence, products no longer need to be scanned. They can also go directly to the shopping bag.

Credit Card Required

Payment is arranged entirely via the Aldi’s Shop & Go app, to which the customer must link a Visa or Mastercard credit card. At the entrance to the store, the customer identifies himself by scanning the QR code of the application. The app ensures that products are automatically paid for when you leave the store.

Aldi Nederland asserts that “checking messages is a thing of the past”. “It fits in with our strategy as a reward to enable customers to do their shopping as easy as possible.”

To be clear: This is not exactly a drone shop, like a test shop ok direct in Ghent. “Employees stay in the store to stock the shelves, bake fresh bread and answer customer questions,” Aldi said.

Amazon Go

The technology used in Utrecht and already being tested by Aldi employees was developed by Israeli technology company Trigo Vision, which previously helped set up a test shop for Tesco in London and Rewe in Berlin. But the absolute leader in this field is Amazon, which has already launched its first Amazon GoOpen the store.

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What about privacy? The Trigo Vision system does not use facial recognition, eye scanning, fingerprints, or any other biometric features. “With this advanced technology, only the movements made by the customer and the item are tracked,” Aldi emphasizes.