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Netherlands: Aldi Nord expands self-scanning and self-checkout test

Discount Retail Chain Aldi Nord (German family owned) is expanding its self-scanning and self-checkout pilot to 18 stores in the Netherlands. In May this year, the discounter had started the tests in the Dutch town of Berkel-Enschot.

Customers can scan their items in these stores via a self-checkout terminal (SCO) or through the Aldi Nord app installed on their smartphone and pay cashless. For this test, the discounter relies on the Austrian technology provider Shopreme for both the hardware components and the software. Customers are still able to use staffed checkouts in the stores, where they can also pay by cash.

In its pilot stores, which are located in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland, North Brabant and Utrecht, the discounter is testing, how shoppers accept the various self-checkout options. From this, Aldi Nord wants to gain important insights for a future checkout strategy, explains Dr Christian Bock, Team-Lead Self-Service Checkout & Cashless Payment at Aldi Nord. For this pilot, Aldi’s customer app was expanded to include the Shopreme Scan & Go function. Customers can use this to record the items taken from the shelf with their smartphone. At the checkout, shoppers pay for their virtual shopping basket without cash using their preferred payment method such as bank or credit card as well as mobile options such as Google Pay or Apple Pay. The online payment system Ideal, which is common in the Netherlands, is also available. After a successful payment process, the app generates a code that can be scanned at the Shopreme exit terminals and opens them.

Visible barrier against shrinkage Alternatively, shoppers have the option to register their items at Shopreme self-service checkouts and pay at the integrated EFT terminal. The majority of the 18 test stores are equipped with six SCO terminals each. Instead of a full paper receipt, customers can simply print out a QR code at the self-checkout, as an alternative to a conventional receipt, which allows them to download a digital receipt. The so-called eco-receipt uses 80% less paper, which reduces maintenance intervals and costs for Aldi.

Shopremes exit gates provide a visible barrier in the egress area, providing an additional barrier against theft, along with cameras on the ceiling and the positioning of the self-checkout area directly next to the attended checkouts. The gates only open when valid receipts with a matching timestamp and location stored on the presented code.

Alternative concept test with Trigo in Utrecht Aldi Nord in the Dutch city of Utrecht is operating a different technology test with Trigo. In this store, cameras on the ceiling and sensors in the shelves record which customer has taken which items or put them back on the shelf. After the purchase, shoppers get a digital receipt on their smartphone.


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