There was already a small queue outside Aldi’s first UK cashless supermarket in Greenwich.
But as I got closer, eager shoppers were quickly ushered into the store by eager employees in bright blue jackets and gray headphones, acting as bouncers.
This is Aldi…but not as we know it.
Before being allowed into the store, you need to download a free app called Aldi Shop & Go and register.
It only takes a few minutes, but you must add a payment card before you are allowed to browse.
When I downloaded my app, I heard a disgruntled customer scream.
He was upset when he found out he wasn’t allowed to browse without registration and left.
Subscribers press a button to generate a QR code, which you scan to open the barriers and go inside.
If you are with family then you only have to generate one code.
Inside the Shop & Go store, it looks different from my local Aldi.
It’s much smaller and the shelves are stacked more neatly and cleanly.
All the usual grocery sections you would expect in a convenience store are here.
There are fruits and vegetables, a basket of baked goods, milk, meat, cereals, toiletries and more.
I was expecting no fees and therefore no queues but I quickly realized that it was missing a common feature – no middle ground.
The supermarket is famous for Specialbuys, which offers cheap prices on popular items like hot tubs and even smart TVs.
Every week, shoppers flock to see what’s on offer in the middle aisle.
But not in Aldi’s Shop & Go store in Greenwich and all the customers I spoke to were gutted.
Rajdeep Sangha, 42, who lives locally, said: “I check my phone to see what the transactions are every week. It’s really good for school uniform. You expect something new every time. ”
Lisa Bezzina, 55, says: “Where’s the middle aisle? I could spend all day looking at that aisle. “
While others also worry about the accuracy of the technology.
Katey Hearn, 39, said: ‘I don’t like how long it takes for the receipt to arrive on the phone.
“What if I get home and realize I’ve been charged for something I didn’t receive?”
How it works?
The store uses technology to monitor whatever you take and your card is charged when you leave without you having to scan anything or visit.
You can reorder items you decide not to buy – but one local told me she was too scared to pick up anything she wasn’t quite sure she was going to buy to recommend. room.
Aldi says if shoppers discover an error with their receipt, they can request a refund through the app within 28 days of purchase.
I got a notification about my own receipt about 20 minutes after I left the store – but when I went to look for it an hour later, I couldn’t find it in the app.
I do have an email receipt, though, and it’s accurate.
There are other changes shoppers may need to adjust.
In the wine section, you’ll get a notification on your phone if you pick up anything.
It prompts you to verify your age by taking a photo on your phone using facial recognition technology.
If you do not want to remove your mask, the staff can check your age.
Aldi is not the first supermarket to use stores and technology.
In April 2019, Sainsbury’s opened the UK’s first free grocery store.
Last year, Amazon launched its checkout-free store, and Tesco followed in October.
These stores use specially positioned cameras to detect which products a customer has selected and charge you without you having to scan anything or visit.
Aldi’s app uses technology from a company called Yoti to confirm customers’ identities for age-restricted items like alcohol.
Giles Hurley, managing director of Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “This store uses the latest in retail technology, offers Aldi award-winning products and competitive prices to customers according to new and innovative ways.”
It’s all very slick, but here, Greenwich shoppers don’t believe it’s going to catch on.
Especially when there’s a bigger Aldi two miles away – and that one has a aisle in the middle.
https://www.thesun.ie/money/8225416/aldi-first-checkout-free-supermarket/ I went inside Aldi’s first checkout free supermarket and the shoppers all said the same thing