Lidl pushes ahead on self-checkout with 4POS, Itab and GK

While self-checkouts at Lidl in Germany have so far only been trialled in a few dozen stores, 2024 is set to be the year of the major roll-out of self-service scanning and paying in the company’s home country as well as in selected further European markets. The leading European grocery retailer is already talking to the selected technology providers about delivering well over 10,000 self-checkouts for various countries in its current financial year. While Lidl has already implemented the new self-checkouts throughout Romania, the major roll-out in Germany, as well as in other countries such as Spain and Italy, will apparently start in Lidl’s next financial year, which begins in March and ends in February 2025. Itab has announced that it has signed a framework agreement with a leading European grocery retailer for the delivery of 7,200 self-checkouts for more than 12 European countries for this period. Although Lidl is not mentioned in the announcement, no other grocery banner operation is represented in all of the countries listed in the announcement. According to Itab Group, the total value of the contract is “estimated for approximately 16 million Euros”.

Germany officially still in the test phase

Lidl’s press office has not yet confirmed this with regard to Germany when asked by The Retail Optimiser. Germany was still in the test phase. “We are currently testing various checkout concepts in some Lidl stores to enable our customers in Germany to shop conveniently and quickly. This also includes the use of self-service checkouts,” explains Valerie Heck from the Lidl press office to The Retail Optimiser. Based on information of The Retail Optimiser, Lidl wants to equip at least 500 of its around 3,250 stores in Germany with three or more self-checkouts per store by end of February 2025. However, it is still unclear whether this can be achieved, as the market for self-checkouts is currently booming to such an extent that even the best hardware suppliers are struggling with the enormous order volumes. In Germany, various Edeka regions, Aldi Süd, dm, Rossmann and especially Rewe Group are also busy ordering self-checkouts – albeit from different manufacturers.

4POS and Itab provide the basis

As The Retail Optimiser has already exclusively reported, the most important hardware suppliers for Lidl’s self-checkouts are the Swiss specialist 4POS, which belongs to Pan Oston Holding, and the Swedish Itab Group. Every Lidl country is supplied by either 4POS or Itab – with the exception of Germany, where cabinets from both manufacturers are installed. The same components will be installed in the devices as in the manned checkouts. Depending on the country, either 4POS or Diebold Nixdorf is the general hardware supplier to Europe’s leading food retailer.

Software from GK controls all checkouts

As with the manned checkouts, the software comes from GK and was partly customised together with Lidl to meet the requirements of Europe’s market-leading discounter. It is to be used uniformly at the self-checkouts in all Lidl countries without exception. It is also planned to replace the self-checkouts already installed in the UK, which come from Diebold Nixdorf together with the software, with devices controlled by the GK-based software in the near future. Israeli specialist Shekel Scales will consistently supply the checkweigher for all Lidl self-checkouts, which will be operated exclusively and always with middleware from Itab.

To cash or no to cash – that is the question

There are apparently still major discussions at Lidl about the question of whether and to what extent the self-checkouts will have cash recyclers or will be made available to customers exclusively for cashless payment. If Lidl has cash recyclers installed, these are always supplied by Glory.

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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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