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Skip the Line: ALDI Is Testing Checkout-free Shopping at One of Its Stores

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The worst part of grocery shopping is waiting in the inevitably-long checkout line (perish the thought of completing your haul on a Sunday afternoon). But if you’re an ALDI shopper, that might not be a concern much longer: The customer-loved grocer opened its very first checkout-less store, called ALDIgo.

Well, sort of—ALDIgo stores still offer cashiers and self checkout lines for those who aren’t ready to switch over to the new technology, which was created in partnership with Grabandgo.

The first store debuted in Chicago to test the implementation of scanner-less technology. According to ALDI, nothing about the layout of the store was changed in order to add Grabandgo—it’s designed to be added to existing layouts, making it an easy upgrade. This also makes future expansions more feasible.

So, how does it work? Grabandgo added overhead sensors to ALDI’s Chicago location to keep track of every item taken off the shelves. Customers wanting to skip the checkout line need to download the Grabandgo app, to which they also upload their credit card information. When they’re ready to go with their groceries, they just head out the door and scan their app—their card is automatically charged with their tracked purchases. 

Anyone feeling some concern about shopping at an ALDI with sensors can rest assured knowing that Grabandgo doesn’t use any kind of facial recognition. The algorithms their sensors run are designed to keep track of products as they move throughout the store. You also won’t find any cameras on the ground or shelves themselves.

This kind of technology still has a way to go, though: If you’re planning on buying alcohol with Grabandgo, you’ll still need to show your ID to an employee. The app also can’t help you with any items that need to be weighed before purchasing.

Despite these few limitations, customers reviewing the new store and checkout system on Google agreed that it made the shopping experience quick and easy.

Grabandgo hailed the decision as a necessary technological advancement for ALDI stores.

“The launch of ALDIgo is a pivotal moment for the grocery industry,” said Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango, as reported by BusinessWire. “Although more challenging, it was important to us to launch this technology in a typical store and not one purpose-built for us.”

With the ALDI brand is always looking for new ways to expand with new locations and improve their existing storefronts, it appears this collaboration was a natural fit.

It’s not yet confirmed if more ALDIgo stores will open up anytime soon—but if the Chicago location is any indication, you can likely expect to be able to skip the checkout line at your local store in the near future.

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