Aldi goes Amazon Go: the German discounter is opening a fully till-free store in Utrecht. It means that the Netherlands will have the world’s first Aldi Nord without any cash registers.
The first-ever till-less Aldi in Utrecht will open its doors. In early 2022, the Dutch city will get a new Aldi store, located on the corner of Oudegracht and Lange Viestraat, but it will be a store without tills. The new store has been designated as a pilot location for the entire Aldi Nord group. A unique experience.
Like at pioneer Amazon Go, the groceries are paid for automatically thanks to a dedicated app and sensors. The sensors register which products shoppers put in their shopping carts without the need for facial recognition or other privacy-sensitive biometric features. “The system only follows the movements made by the customer and the item”, assures Aldi.
The right climate
Jan Oostvogels, CEO of Aldi Netherlands, understands the choice for Utrecht: “The high degree of digitalisation in the Netherlands means that we are convinced that we have the right climate to trial new technologies such as these”. The new concept will not be found in other countries any time soon: first, it will be extensively tested and evaluated next year. What happens after that remains to be seen.
In the United Kingdom, a till-less Aldi has been operating for some time, but it belongs to Aldi Süd – a separate holding company since 1961 and even a rival sister chain after a dispute between founders Theo and Karl Albrecht. Today, the two companies are once again seeking to establish better relations, but plans for a merger are still firmly denied. And so they each must experiment with till-less stores separately.