Aldi opened a free supermarket in Utrecht this week

Aldi opened a free supermarket in Utrecht this week

“Sweeping groceries is a thing of the past,” the supermarket chain says. Aldi hopes this system will enable customers to “make their shopping as easy as possible”.

However, they have to follow a few steps the first time: install an app, create an account, and link a Visa or Mastercard credit card. Automatic payment via the application works only with credit cards.

Upon entering the store, customers must scan the QR code on their phone. Items placed on the shelf are automatically removed again. The receipt goes to the user’s email.

The branch in Utrecht serves as a test site. The store still employs staff to stock shelves, bake bread, and answer customer questions. Aldi has also had a free shop in London since the beginning of this year.

There is no facial recognition

Aldi says the system only tracks customer and product movements. “The system does not use facial recognition, eye scanning, fingerprints, or any other biometric features.”

In recent months, Aldi employees have already tested the self-learning system from supplier Trigo Vision.

Albert Hein and Amazon

In 2019, Albert Heijn opened a supermarket in Schiphol without a cash register and a self-scanner. That was an experience for a few months.

Amazon already has dozens of free supermarkets in the US.

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