Aldi Nord has announced plans to trial a checkout-free store in Utrecht, The Netherlands, early next year, as part of a broader test to see how artificial intelligence can make the shopping process simpler for customers.
To access the store, customers will need to scan a QR code, while all items in store will be tracked by a combination of shelf sensors and camera technology, which records all shopping movements.
These details are then communicated to a customer app, enabling a contactless and automatic payment process when leaving the store.
'Making Shopping Easier'
"Digitalisation must support our core strategy and make shopping even easier for our customers," commented Kashif Ansari, chief strategy officer at Aldi Einkauf SE & Co. oHG.
The retailer is partnering with Trigo on the new concept store, with the technology firm specialising in developing AI-supported infrastructure for retail stores.
"We are very proud to work with Aldi because the brand stands for innovation in food retailing," said Michael Gabay, Co-Founder and CEO of Trigo.
"Thanks to the technology used in the store, customers can shop conveniently while Aldi gets a better overview when it comes to merchandise availability."
The trial will run for a period of 12 months, during which time the discounter will assess the level to which the automatic payment process simplifies the shopping experience.
Aldi Nord added that 'more employees than usual' will be deployed in the city centre store, to enable seamless testing of the technology.
Popularised by the likes of Amazon Go in the US, which opened its first outlet in 2018, a number of European retailers have trialled checkout-free concepts in recent years, including Sonae, Ahold Delhaize, Jerónimo Martins and others.
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