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Aldi Süd realises just-walk-out-store in London – presumably with AiFi

Aldi Süd has launched a just-walk-out store in London on a trial basis. As at Amazon Go stores, purchases are recorded by cameras while shopping, without any checkouts or scanning. The technology comes most likely from Californian specialist AiFi, with whom Aldi Süd has been testing for several months.

AiFi already has some experience in implementing completely cashierless grocery stores. Just a few weeks ago, the French grocery market leader launched a “Carrefour City+” store in Dubai completely cashierless using AiFi’s technology.

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In June, the largest convenience store operator in Poland, Żabka, went live with an Amazon Go-style just-walk-out store made completely cashierless by AiFi technology at the exhibition centre of the city Poznań. The Retail Optimiser also reported on Dutch start-up Wundermart‘s plans to operate 1,000 checkout-less stores using AiFi technology.

The Retail Optimiser has information that Aldi Süd has also been looking closely at AiFi since its tender for such technology in summer 2020. However, no company wanted to confirm whether the store in London was actually realised with AiFi when asked.

Aldi Süd praises AiFi

Aldi Süd spoke highly of AiFi on a now-deleted webpage of its innovation unit: “AiFi is a company that provides a valuable combination of cutting-edge technological expertise and a good understanding of the retail context. Their suite of analytics capabilities offers technological solutions to understanding customer movements, shopping behaviour, and real time on-shelf product tracking.”

Aldi Süd is not revealing which of its 48 shops within London’s M25 motorway ring road are currently testing the technology by staff only. It is also unclear whether this is even a shop currently open to customers or a test-only shop.

As with other AiFi stores and also with Amazon’s just-walk-out technology, customers have to identify themselves with a QR code from a special app in the store and also pay after shopping with a payment method stored in the app. The Vision Recognition technology – which is only suspected to be from AiFi – records which goods the customer takes, puts back, pockets and automatically creates the receipt after leaving the shop. If the trial with staff is successful, Aldi Süd would also like to offer the technology for use to all London shop customers.

Tests also with Shopic

In addition to the just-walk-out technology, Aldi Süd is also testing the automatic recognition of goods placed in the shopping trolley using technology from Israeli start-up Shopic in Australia. The Retail Optimiser reported. This solution, which also eliminates the need for scanning at the checkout, is also so exciting that the company had installed it for a short time in its Innovations shop near its headquarters in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

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Björn Weber

Björn Weber has been a journalist, analyst and consultant specialising in the retail and consumer goods industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Fourspot, which is publishing The Retail Optimiser, Björn Weber headed the international analyst group LZ Retailytics. Previously, he was Research Director Retail Technology and Head of Planet Retail in Germany. Before that, Björn Weber was editor for IT & logistics topics at Lebensmittel Zeitung for eight years. Björn Weber is a member of the jury of the Retail Technology Award (Reta Europe) of the EHI. He is a regular speaker at events of the EHI, the NRF, industry media and the Consumer Goods Forum.

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