The chain, famed for its controversial checkouts, is following in the footsteps of Amazon with a new feature that allows customers to simply walk in and out without queueing for their goods
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Aldi customers have threatened to boycott the grocer over controversial plans to introduce checkout-free shopping in the UK – following in the footsteps of online giant Amazon.
Loyal customers say the decision will lead to job cuts in a sector that’s already becoming increasingly automated.
One person wrote online: “More evidence of tech taking peoples jobs.”
Another said: “This may seem innocent but will cause job losses. All part of the Great Reset coming to us slowly.”
A third added: “Human interaction is important. Some people, especially the old look forward to shopping because that’s the only place they get a semblance of human interaction.”
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Mirror reader Dawn Lake said the store also threatens to exclude elderly people and those that aren’t technology savvy.
“What will happen to customers that don’t have a smart phone?,” she said.
“Some people just have a pay and go phone for emergencies! I think these people are being left behind and ignored,” Dawn added.
But despite concerns, others argue it will improve the experience with the chain famed for its superfast checkout system.
One person wrote: “I hate shopping and the whole checkout experience so the quicker this is rolled out the better.”
Aldi insists that no jobs will be lost in the process.
The way it works is that customers install an app on their phone. When they go to the Aldi store they register on the app.
When they leave the shop they are charged automatically and get a receipt emailed to them.
Currently the pilot is only being used by the supermarket’s employees, not customers.
But if the system works it will be rolled out to the public, the supermarket said.
Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive Giles Hurley said: “We are always looking to redefine what it means to be a discount retailer, and the technology involved in this trial will give us a wealth of learnings.
“We are really excited to be testing this concept that will enable customers to pick from our range of quality products, all available at unbeatable prices, then leave the store without having to pay at a till.”
In March online behemoth Amazon opened its first walk-in store in the UK, selling items such as groceries and technology, without any checkouts.
The multi-billion-pound retail empire – owned by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos – is trialling its Amazon Go concept on Britain’s high streets.
The first shop was in in Ealing in West London.
Shoppers must scan their unique Amazon bar code on their phone to enter the store, allowing sensor technology and cameras to monitor the products they walk out with.
The contactless service will work using the same type of technology found in self-driving cars which can detect when products are taken or returned to the shelves, while monitoring your virtual cart.
Tesco is also trialling a similar concept in Dalston, London.