Home Economy Aldi is based on artificial intelligence – the first zero-till branch

Aldi is based on artificial intelligence – the first zero-till branch

Aldi is based on artificial intelligence – the first zero-till branch
  • Lisa Klein

    fromLisa Klein


In order to avoid long queues in the future and to make shopping easier, Aldi Nord takes a stark step: the first unnecessarily opened branch in Utrecht.

Aldi Nord is based on the concept of a new store in the Netherlands at the beginning of 2022. There, the discount program is testing under real conditions how artificial intelligence (AI) can make shopping easier and more enjoyable and, above all, save more time for customers. The focus is on the fact that long queues at a cash register in particular should be a thing of the past in the future. Aldi Nord is taking a drastic step towards this – and ditching the cash registers.

Of course, the goods still have to be paid for. But how is this supposed to work? No-till branch? The new checkout concept will be tested in the new Aldi store in downtown Utrecht from the beginning of 2022. “All customers use the customer app’s QR code when checking in and out. Everything else is done by the sensors on the shelves as well as the camera technology used in the store , which records all in-store shopping movements and assigns them to the right customer,” reads a press release from Aldi Nord. It looks very complicated.

AI: Aldi takes a drastic step to avoid waiting lists

Quick connection with the customer app finally enables completely automatic contactless payment when leaving the store. In the app, customers can manage their purchase history, request payment, or provide feedback on purchases. Kashif Ansari, Director of Strategy at ALDI Buying SE & Co. oHG: “Digitalization should support our core strategy and make purchasing easier for our customers.”

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Aldi Nord stresses in a press release that data protection standards must be complied with. Face data should be “filtered directly and not processed”. In order to gain as much knowledge as possible, according to Aldi, more employees are being hired at the new store in Utrecht rather than fewer – despite the lack of plows.

Aldi’s AI – Pay by App instead of Pay

The twelve-month test under real conditions at one of ALDI’s 500 branches in the Netherlands aims to show how simple the process of automatic payment of operations is to customers and employees. On the other hand, important conclusions must be made about the possible future uses of technology in the opponent.


Aldi is one of the ten largest retail groups worldwide and consists of two separate groups of companies Aldi Süd (based in Mülheim an der Ruhr) and Aldi Nord (based in Essen). In addition to main competitor Lidl, the two Aldi companies along with 11,235 subsidiaries were the world’s largest competitor at the end of 2019.

The discount tool is supported by Trigo in the test store in Utrecht. The technology company is developing an AI-powered infrastructure for retail stores: “We are very proud to work with ALDI because the brand represents innovation in food retail. Thanks to the technology used in the store, customers can shop comfortably, while ALDI has a better overview. on availability of goods,” explains Michael Gabay, co-founder and CEO of Trigo.

Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more important and can make everyday life easier in many areas. The city of Heilbronn won this year’s geolocation competition and was awarded the “KI Campus” grant – an AI innovation park. The state is investing 50 million euros in the future project.

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Address list image: © ALDI Nord


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