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The supermarket of the future?  There is no cash register or self-scanner in Aldi

The supermarket of the future? There is no cash register or self-scanner in Aldi

The first store of this format opens in Utrecht. Hundreds of cameras in the ceiling and sensors on the shelves closely monitor the products that go home with the customer. The amount due is automatically deducted at checkout.

Standing in a long line at checkout or struggling with a scanning device is a thing of the past. From now on, you can walk out of the store without looking back or looking back with bread, a bowl of chocolate, or a can of beer.

On Monday morning, a select group can already learn about the supermarket experience of the future. Jan Oostvogels, CEO of Aldi in the Netherlands, came to Utrecht to talk about all the details. “We could not have imagined this in our wildest dreams. We are convinced that there is no place where it is really easy to shop,” he told his audience.

Aldi’s new free-of-exit entrance and exit in Utrecht.Aldi .’s photo

Artificial intelligence

The project started fourteen months ago. Inspired by the example of the American tech giant Amazon, which once introduced the concept of a payment-free supermarket. To obtain the necessary technology, Aldi enlisted the help of Trigo Vision Limited.

This technology is based on artificial intelligence. This means that it is a self-learning system. With the help of real customers, we must improve, refine and improve it in the coming period.”

A visit to a trendy supermarket begins with downloading an app on your smartphone. When the phone is ready, the customer walks towards the entrance to the store. After scanning the QR code, the entrance gates open.

The consumer collects all the necessary products, puts them in a bag and gets out again. The final bill is prepared automatically by the smart devices, and the amount due is deducted from the credit card linked to the application. This is the only payment option at the moment.

Wine and beer

There are 475 cameras in the roof of the supermarket. Together with the sensors on the shelves, they follow the movements of the customer and the products of his choice. The questionable consumer has also been considered: Do you regret the pizza in your basket? Put it back on the shelves and it will magically disappear from your account. Wine and beer are placed in an enclosed area of ​​the store. If you want to buy drinks, you must show an ID to the employee.

There are 475 cameras in the roof of the supermarket.  Marnix Schmidt statue

There are 475 cameras in the roof of the supermarket.Marnix Schmidt statue

Oostvogels and his team have also thought extensively about privacy challenges. About this he says: “There is no personal identification in any way. The system keeps track of only the person who signs up and the article. At the exit, all data disappears.”

Self-examination successor

The first steps in the supermarket of the future may seem a little awkward. That is why the employees are ready to provide the necessary guidance to the inquisitive consumer. “Just because we don’t have a cash register, doesn’t mean we don’t need employees. We will always need colleagues to bake sandwiches, fill shelves, or monitor alcohol sales.”

Retail expert Eric Himes sees a future in Aldi’s futuristic concept. “You may have to get used to this new way of shopping at first. But it is actually very simple. This would be the successor to self-checking. It has become very popular in recent years. You already have consumers saying, ‘I no longer go to a supermarket where they don’t have a check-up.’” subjective.” Now we look at the next development: you just have to checkout, while the funds are automatically taken from your account.

Aldi is not entirely unique in the Netherlands; Competitor Albert Heijn experimented with a similar technique a few years ago. AH previously informed this site that this pilot program has been completed and that there are no concrete plans for a completely exit-free store in the country.

The new Aldi in Utrecht.  Marnix Schmidt statue

The new Aldi in Utrecht.Marnix Schmidt statue

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