Aldi is suffering from a swing from discounters to convenience, induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. It now trials a 24/7 vending machine called "ALDImat", to compensate for its shorter opening hours. It will offer forty products, focusing on barbecue and breakfast emergencies.
Breakfast and grill
In Haßloch (in Rhineland-Palatinate, close to Luxembourg), the discounter is testing the world's first ALDImat, where Aldi Süd tests a vending machine with 'necessary' products that may also be needed when the regular store is closed. As Aldi stores have more limited opening hours than most of its competitors', the discounter is losing out on revenue for late-evening (barbecue) and morning (breakfast) sales. According to Business Insider, this is one of the ways in which Aldi is trying to claw back.
The vending machine is cooled and offers some forty products, both private label and major brands. In the beginning, the product range features food for barbecues or breakfast: an Instagram picture shows ketchup, Nutella chocolate paste and meat in the vending machine. There is no 'emergency surcharge': the prices are the same compared to the store behind it.
The vending machine is not the only way in which Aldi Süd seeks to innovate: it is also trying to build its own version of Amazon Go and has called for start-ups to join forces in the fields of automatic product recognition and machine learning.