UK: Aldi plans to launch Amazon Go-style cashierless stores
Discount Retail Chain Aldi UK is developing its own cashierless Amazon Go rival and is on the hunt for automatic product recognition technologies.
Aldi Süd, the subsidiary of the German discounter which trades in the UK, has placed an international call out to tech startups specialising in computer vision and artificial intelligence. At the same time Amazon plans 30 'Amazon Go' convenience stores for the UK as first country in Europe.
The German discounter has reached out to potential partners on a its new English-language website, asking entrepreneurs with test-ready solutions to register and introduce their companies and product.
It has specifically requested companies who have developed technology which will enable the automatic recognition of products, either through cameras in store, in shopping carts or via users smartphones.
Aldi also explicitly mentions shopper apps which can help display additional information like stock levels, allergen and special dietary information in line with the recently introduced and successful Lidl Plus App.
While it has not yet been confirmed by the grocer, the request heavily suggests it is developing its own alternative to Amazon’s Go grocery stores.
Amazon Go stores will track items shoppers put in their basket automatically and charge their Amazon accounts without them ever having to queue or pay physically. Queuing at the discounter's cashier is one of the major customer irritation points and can be solved this way.
It comes days after reports that Aldi could be on the verge of launching an e-commerce arm in the UK, as its logistics operators says it has the systems in place to “seize the opportunity which e-commerce offers”.
Armstrong Logistics, Aldi’s long-term logistics partner, has built and launched a dedicated home delivery division which it says will become a “major part of our business in the future”.
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